Did you all enjoy the hiatus?
I just got back from a frenetic trip to New York (to film my new History Channel show)...
...then Boston (the International Complexity Conference) ...
...DC (a conference on thwarting "evil genius" scenarios, hosted by the Defense Threat Reduction Agency) ...
...then Gettysburg and Philadelphia. The kids toured sights and learned huge amounts of history while I worked, sigh. (We always seem to bring freakish weather when we travel east and this time it was a monsoon! The Archives and Pickett's Charge and some other milestones were washed out.)
Favorite parts? Congressional aides/lobbyists (there's a difference?) Dan and Erik taking us on a lovely guided tour of the Capitol. (God bless the heroes of UA93 who saved BOTH our civilization AND this heart-filling treasure!) Thanks Dan & Erik!
...Touring Gettysburg by foot and car (after having watched Ted Turner's great film.)
... Living in a Hoboken fire house for three days, meeting real heroes like former NYC Fire Commissioner Thomas Von Essen and the men of Rescue One.
...Seeing old pals in DC and meeting great minds like Judge Posner, while Tom Clancy gave our dinner speech...
... and standing yet again in that Temple of the Enlightenment - a place every bit as sacred as Sinai - Independence Hall. (I get shivers, every time. All choked up.)
...And, yes, a block away, visiting the humble grave of old Ben. My hero.
(One complaint. At Arlington National Cemetary, most of the tour guides had not even HEARD of George Marshall, let alone had a clue of where he could be found. Only the greatest American in 100 years. Should have been Time's Man of the Century.)
A great (if exhausting) trip.
All right, then, shall we resume?
Where shall we begin? How about one small item that's apolotical and one from politics? Sound fair?
1) Announcing the most vivid and interesting new online magazine -- Jim Baen's Universe
which offers a generous variety of fiction and fascinating articles. Editor Eric Flint has gathered an impressive array of talent, and even allowed me to slip in too, with a serialized novel... my first big science fiction comedy in years! The good news? Subscription is a real bargain. The sad news is that founder and publisher Jim Baen recently passed away, even at the moment of triumphantly launching Universe Magazine. A tragic loss to the field - one of our most vivid and dynamic leaders.
2) Under the category of "can you imagine what would have been said if this happened under Bill Clinton?"
Oh the hypocrisy! Enron's Ken Lay dropping dead, just as he's in the process of plea-bargaining a tell-all to prosecutors in order to avoid prison? Is this a no-brainer? (Even if it really was of "natural causes.") And yet the obvious paranoid riff gets no mention at all? Yeesh!
I mean, are paranoid freakazoids REALLY that partisan, that they cannot spread it around a bit? Without a scintilla of cause or evidence, they STILL call poor Vince Foster's "travelgate" suicide a murder (murdered... over that?) and yet never seem to notice stuff 10,000 times as suspicious on the other side.
I accuse them of utter hypocrisy. They are credulous maniacs, every single one.