Tuesday, April 19, 2005


A new era begins...

Welcome to my latest venture - my very own blog. Having been substantially influenced by Glenn Harlan Reynolds during my tenure at The University of Tennessee College of Law, it was only a matter of time before I stepped into the Blogosphere in more than a contributory role. As this is only my second attempt at website creation (my first being my family's website), I certainly expect a learning curve, but I am a decent writer (with experience at The Daily Beacon and The East Tennessean, where I was Executive Editor) and figured that this was certainly worth the shot.

First, I want to introduce myself so that readers are aware of who is posting all of these rants. I was born in the East Tennessee city of Kingsport during the country's bicentennial. My parents were not particularly wealthy - as could be evidenced by calling a trailer "home" for several years of my early childhood - but through hard work, determination, and a scholarship, they have been able to do quite well for themselves. I was raised in many geographic locations - Knoxville, TN; Orlando, FL; Bluff City, TN; Cockermouth, England; and Johnson City, TN, to name a few. I turned down some of the more prestigious schools to attend East Tennessee State University as a member of their Honors Program. Besides the scholarship, it was the opportunity to play tennis at an NCAA Division 1 school that sold me on ETSU. I had intended on studying medicine after graduating from ETSU, and I did just that for nearly 2 years in Chicago. However, after being elected President of the student body in my second year, I was exposed to the ugly side of medicine - the big business of HMOs, Medicare, and doctors determined to protect their turf by "eating their young." It shocked me, and, after a particularly harsh meeting one night, I walked past my rented condo and into Lincoln Park. It was then that I decided to leave the medical profession. Eventually, that led me to the place where my Mom always said I would end up - law school. Having spent a good deal of my childhood on the campus of The University of Tennessee, there wasn't much of a decision as to where I was going to attend school. Law school, as those who have experienced the two can tell you, is not as rigorous as medical school, so I was able to rekindle my passion for politics in my spare time while at UT. My first experience with campaigning had come while I was at ETSU, working campaigns for Bill Jenkins and Bob Dole in 1996. Arriving at UT in 2000 was perfect timing in the election cycle, resulting in my working for George W. Bush that year and again in 2004. In between, I spent time on Capitol Hill with Ed Bryant and Fred Thompson (in the Governmental Affairs Committee), worked Ed's Senate primary bid in Tennessee, and took a position with Van Hilleary and Lamar Alexander during their general election bids in 2002. After passing the bar at the conclusion of law school, I moved with my wife, Angela (a Vanderbilt alum - although she is responding to the reeducation in a wonderfully Big Orange way) to Washington, D.C., where she had previously completed law school at George Washington University. After working for the National Rifle Association in their Office of the General Counsel, I returned to Tennessee as part of Bush/Cheney 2004. While in the state, I started to question why I ever left. Angela and I now reside in Knoxville.

So, now you have my life in a nutshell. I have always been a big fan of blogs, having first been exposed through Instapundit, but having since graduated to Bill Hobbs, South End Grounds, and hosts of others that I won't attempt to name for fear of leaving someone out. While I agree with Professor Reynolds much more than I disagree with him, I should note that we are not politically aligned. As he has noted, I am farther Right than the Instapundit's brand of libertarian thought (although, I believe that I am beginning to gravitate more towards Neal Boortz's latest views, which seem to be an intermixing of libertarianism with a strong dash of traditional conservatism, but more on that later). This will not be a GOP lovefest, by any means. For instance, I only jumped aboard the Bush campaign this time around because of his opponent and having met persons that Mr. Kerry had personally injured. In my dealings, I honestly believe President Bush to be a conservative at heart, but the party continues to eschew a traditional conservative approach to government in favor of "compassionate conservatism," which seems to be conservatism without the messy conservative convictions, ideologies, beliefs, and standards that get in the way. While I will be quick to criticize GOP blunders, that won't mean the Democrats are off the hook. The Republicans may have a hard time staying conservative, but that certainly doesn't mean the Democrats are right about much of anything. In any case, I wanted to be perfectly clear about where I was coming from so that readers will know my biases and preferences without any misrepresentations.

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