One of my few disappointments at CPAC was being unable to interview Ayyan Hirsi Ali .

Ayaan at the table
I attended her book signing but her security would not let me approach for an interview despite repeated requests. Given the danger she is in regularly I certainly have no business complaining.

I was slightly surprised that there wasn’t a longer line for her. Of course her books have been out for a while so a fair amount of people have already seen them. I also found it ironic that the book signing area was right next to the Muslims for America booth and the gentleman running it while I was there seemed a tad uncomfortable when she was there. Of course that could be entirely my perspective.

As soon as the base signing was done she was hustled out of the area via a back spot, stoping only to greet John Bolton.

John bolton and Ayaan Hirsi Ali
They talked for a bit and I had some hope of approaching again, but her security came to me again and rejected the idea of a short interview. Normally one would press the issue and I made it a point to stay close enough so that if anything changed or if through some quirk she headed into the main area I would be ready but alas it was not to be. What I did instead was interview one of the people in the line waiting for the chance to have her book signed.


I actually should have thought of bringing my own copies from home but I was carting enough stuff as it was.
Ayaan signs for a fan

Last year I saw Col West at the Pam Geller event, this year he was the Keynote Speaker, but before he gave his keynote he visited bloggers row. (Maureen Dowd was not invited)

There were a lot of people in that room who would love to see this man on a national ticket sometime soon.

update: …particularly if he keeps saying stuff like this.

 

You may not be aware of this, but a selection of my Fedoras is always on loan to various bloggers around the country. This set of maps shows the current locations of my loaned out fedoras currently in blogger hands.

 

 

As time goes by and the various people who have my hats return them and they are re-loaned the locations change but for now if you want to find where a hat belonging to DaTechGuy on loan currently is, check out the blue stars.

I always try to keep 3 hats on hand (2 formal one casual) for 4 is my limit, but where will the Fedoras go next? Keep an eye on this space!

Dale Peterson is campaigning as a write in for the straw poll:

Peterson is a great man but his wife is a compelling persona and an incredible asset to him. If he never serves in another elected office he will still be a very fortunate man.

Up early today and noticed Stacy McCain’s post on festivities at CPAC. There were an awful lot parties and I missed nearly all of them but Stacy has a ton of pictures.

Despite getting back to my Hotel in Largo at 3 a.m. one thing I didn’t miss was mass. The last time I was at one of these national events the next week I went to confession. I had been struggling with a particular sin and was rather pleased at my progress (spiritual pride, very dangerous) and was able to confess that my big sin was only missing mass.

Long shot National Cathedral

Fr.Bob looked at me and told me bluntly, “You had time for this event, that event, you made time to see the monuments and historical sites but you couldn’t find one hour for God?”.

I was deflated really fast and was determined that I would not make that mistake. My friend Steve who now lives in the area told me he would pick me up at 8 a.m. for at 9 a.m. Mass at the national cathedral.

If you’ve never been (and I hadn’t) you can’t imagine the place. By the time I was on the steps I could physically feel the presence of the Holy Spirit. Once I was inside my jaw spent the majority of its time on my chest.

One of the many sights above
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By arriving early I had time to gape at the chapels inside the church where mass can be celebrated. I was very taken by the individual displays of the mysteries of the Rosary.

The Annunciation

The Mass itself had a dozen celebrants and the ushers were all members of the Knights of Columbus. The cantor was incredible and the sermon was pretty solid. I love to sing and I really let myself go but I also found myself choking up a bit.

After Mass we had breakfast downstairs (it was incidentally the best meal I had in DC) I was a bit surprised to see speaker Gingrich eating at the table next to mine and was also able to grab a replacement Angelus prayer card in the gift shop.

Steve and I after mass

One thing that struck me as important. Just before you get to the Cathedral there is a small church (St. Anthony’s). For all of the presence of the holy spirit for all of the emotional and spiritual reaction I had in the Cathedral one must never forget the mass down the street is the same mass, the presence of Christ in the blessed sacrament is no less holy. The difference between empathy and saintliness is the ability to feel the presence of the spirit in the small church like the still small voice. That is the goal.

If I can afford CPAC next year maybe I’ll see about getting making a regular trip and arranging a trip to Mass for Sunday Morning Mass for bloggers who want to come. I don’t know how many I’d get but it would be fun to find out.

Meanwhile here is a slideshow of all the shots there:

…when I got two press releases on the very last day at the very last-minute at the same time. One from Ron Paul’s group touting his victory in the straw poll. (That actually says a good thing about Mitt Romney, he realized that the number of free trips he would need to give out to counter Congressman Paul’s forces was a bad investment) and the Other from the YAF about expelling Ron Paul.

Before I say another word full disclosure: Members of the YAF have been friends to me on a personal level and to this blog on a professional level (even when it was small) this is worth a lot of coin in the Bank of Sicily

Since getting home I’ve been tweeting back and forth with a fan of Paul named @flyingcomic. Rather than putting words in his mouth go check out his tweets and see what he has to say.

I have a lot to do tonight so let me cut to the chase. I think that some of Mr. Paul’s supports particularly the anti-war ones are to put it politely “out there”. I think their actions during the Cheney Speech where dishonorable. I don’t know if there was any interaction between the group and the Paul camp before his expulsion but as I said they have been friends to me and I’m going to assume that they acted with due discretion when making their decision until I’m given a reason otherwise.

As for Ron Paul. He was for fiscal responsibility before it was cool and is unapologetic pro-life. He is absolutely right on these two issues.

That being said his views on the War on Terror are straight out of the pre pearl harbor days of World War 2. He is absolutely wrong on this issue.

Or to put it better. Ron Paul reminds me of Norton Anti-Virus. When it works it works fabulously. When it fails it fails spectacularly!

Ron Paul managed to win the CPAC straw poll again. Unless he plans on paying for the residency for the same proportion of people in each primary state to move him he will not duplicate this result when it comes time to vote in the states.

To those who support him, remember this is not a religion, this is a candidate. Disagreeing with Ron Paul is not blasphemy, if you start treating it as if it is you stop becoming a political movement and start becoming a cult. Beware of this.

Paul’s message on fiscal responsibility is serious and should be treated as such. His message on Israel and the war on terror is simply nonsense and should also be treated as such. If you disagree with either of those two sentences in my book this doesn’t make you a kook, nut, fanatic or evil, simply wrong on some issues. If because you disagree with either of those sentences you get extremely angry and decide I am a kook, nut, fanatic or evil then take a deep breath and look in a mirror, or even better say a decade of the rosary and meditate upon them.