March 10th, 2005

The General

Locked, cocked & ready to roll

This is the day the rubber hits the road. We have people out getting things from storage lockers, our consuite chair is out with the treasurer and security chief pillaging the local Sam's Club, and my vice-chairman is on site at the hotel doing what must be done. I'm confident that everything that needs to be done today will be done, and tomorrow morning at seven we'll have a happy shiny staff breakfast before we prepare to do the last-minute stuff and receive boarders the fans.

I'm in a weird place, emotionally, and it's a place I haven't been in for years. I'm calm, relaxed, confident and yet pumped - I want to make stuff happen. It reminds me of the way I felt when I was heading out to the field with the Reserves. Ready to roll out and do the stuff I do well. It's a good feeling, and I've missed it.

Plus, as if everything else wan't going well enough, we found out this morning the hotel has a wireless network that covers 90% of the hotel, and the 10% it doesn't cover is sleeping rooms at the outboard end of the staff wing. Sw33t!
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"Free speech for me, but not for thee" revisited

I haven't really had the time or energy to waste on politics of late, what with this anime convention eating my life, but there are a couple of topics current in the blogosphere that I want to comment on.

First, I guess it was inevitable that the bureaucrats at the FEC would extend the foul grasp of the McCain-Feingold Act to bloggers, since the Act was intended from the outset to muzzle anyone who wasn't part of the mainstream media or the political class, as Mitch Berg observed. McCain has always been a suckup to the media, who returned the favor by hyping his abortive run for the Presidency in 2000. I guess you can't expect any better out of an admiral. In contrast to Army officers, who have historically been loath to get involved in domestic politics, the Navy's brass have a long history of getting cozy with the politicians. It's no accident, imao, that the most serious foofaraw involving military officers tangling with the Administration was called the Revolt of the Admirals. So it's not too surprising that Senator McCain has a weak grip on that First Amendment thing. Arizona's GOP needs to dump him in favor of somebody more like Barry Goldwater - it's time and past time we had a real libertarian in the Senate again. In the meantime, I guess the most we can hope for is that somebody in Congress will get a bill together to remove blogs from the scope of McCain-Feingold, or better yet repeal the stupid thing, since it's rather obviously been a miserable failure at "getting the money out of politics".

The other thing on my mind is the bankruptcy reform bill. Frankly, I don't buy the BS coming from the bill's proponents, who are acting like a bunch of sock puppets for MBNA and the other big credit card issuers, and the Democrats agitating for this bill are pissing away what little pretense to populism they have left by selling out to the banks on this one. Not that the elephants in the stable have been covering themselves with glory on this one either...if Tim Pawlenty were real Presidential timber, he'd be damning this thing to Hell and back every chance he got. Yes, people abuse the existing bankruptcy laws, but they'll always do that...and I find it ominous that bankruptcy lawyers who mainly deal in Chapter 13 filings hate the bill. There's opposition to the bill from both hardened lefties like Kos and right-wingers like Just One Minute, so there might still be a chance to kill this thing in the House. Write your Congressman; I'm going to rattle Ramstad's cage good and hard on this one. Spread the word - you could be the next one getting bent over.