In my mind I’m gone to Carolina FreedomNet

Thanks to the John Locke Foundation for its terrific Carolina FreedomNet 2006 program yesterday in Greensboro. The North Carolina bloggers featured in the two morning panel discussions — Lorie Byrd, Sister Toldjah, Bob Owens, Scott Elliott, Josh Manchester, Sam Hieb, and Jeff Taylor — put on a humbling display of talent and thoughtfulness. Townhall managing editor and rising star Mary Katharine Ham also participated in the second panel and has an excellent round-up full of links here, as do most of the other panelists at their sites. Scott Elliott (“the Blogging Caesar”) is focusing exclusively on election projections, which he has updated today. Please check them all out.
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As I mentioned yesterday, sisters Abby Misemer and Missy Nurrenbrock flew up from New Port Richey, Florida to attend the program. I’m with them in the photograph above (Abby is on the left and Missy on the right). They introduced themselves to me as “blog groupies” and told me how much they enjoy my music posts. That’s why I’m smiling. We talked about the possibility of sponsoring a Power Line cruise of the kind that our friends at National Review and the Weekly Standard undertake. I’m not sure we could pull it off, but I know we can count on Abby and Missy to join us when we do. In their message sending the photograph to me, they write: “Don’t forget the cruise!” And they comment: “What a great conference!”
I was impressed by the scope of the work of the John Locke Foundation. Led by John Hood, it employs a staff of 28 (and six interns) and is taking full advantage of the Internet to affect public policy in North Carolina. It sponsors four local North Carolina blogs on its site in addition to its staff-written Locker Room blog, all of which I urge you to check out.
A special thanks to Locke vice president for communications Jon Ham and executive vice president Kory Swanson for their hospitality, and to Jon’s wife Kay for her warmth and good cheer. I think I have figured out where Mary Katharine gets her personality from.

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