August 31, 2008

Dispatches From The RNC-The Drive To Minnesota

I hate the wind.

Ok, not really hate so much as dislike intensely, especially when it forces you to drive 10 miles under the speed limit through a rather boring stretch of South Dakota.

Yes--I drove (won't be a green convention for this blogger!).

However, lest you think I shirked my blogger duties, here is a sample of what I saw along the way, which included a stop in the Black Hills of South Dakota and a visit to the Crazy Horse Monument (which likely won't be finished in our lifetimes, but is entirely financed through--shocker--private enterprise) and, of course, Mount Rushmore:

BFE, Wyoming.

Custer, SD

Crazy Horse Monument

"Authentic," but waaay overpriced.

A preview of how the mountain will eventually look, sometime around 2500. Just kidding (not really).

Made in Denver.

Just in time for the evening lighting ceremony.

Come on, Vogue!

All lit up.

When I was last here in 1994, there was a much smaller, old-school National Monument building and very little improvements (since the 1960s). A larger parking lot and entrance, enhanced museum, new amphitheater, and this flag-lined walkway all augmented the decidedly patriotic experience.

I'll have video from the lighting ceremony tomorrow.

First, we watched a Mount Rushmore "Cliff Notes" video on the four Presidents represented, and then members of the audience who were veterans of our armed forces (or a representative) were invited to the stage for the nightly flag lowering, carried out with much dignity.  Our ranger narrated the Star-Spangled Banner's first 3 verses, and sang the final verse quite beautifully.  It was clear from the tone of her voice that she was truly overcome with emotion, and this feeling permeated the audience.

On a cool night on Labor Day weekend following the week of hell (temperatures and my poor feet) that was the DNC, it was an outstanding opportunity to reflect on the greatness of our country, the eloquence of our Founding Fathers, and the immense gratitude we should have for our rights and for the ability to exercise our freedoms in a manner unmatched almost anywhere else on this rock.  Sandwiched as it was between the DNC and RNC, my visit to Mount Rushmore reinforced the necessity of an educated and engaged citizenry that is politically active and civically oriented.

But that's not why you're here, is it? On to the convention schwag!

RNC schwag bag--"refresh, recycle, re-use."  Surprisingly, there wasn't a Coke product inside.

The logo may be much-maligned, but the message is important--water is essential for convention survival!

Cool! Mac & Cheese  . . . hey--wait a minute! We are Republicans.  Where is my RNC filet mignon?

Can the Republicans weather the storm that is Hurricane Gustav?

Fellow Coloradan Brad Jones from (bookmark it) arrived a little earlier in the day, and managed to snap a few photos of those protesters arrested Sunday and the arrival of the Colorado delegates. Check back in at FTS for updates throughout the RNC.

Meanwhile, Gateway Pundit details the moonbat protesters of the "RNC Welcoming Committee" raided over the weekend and arrested for possessing devices meant to "disable" delegate buses.

Same crap (literally), different city/convention.

Oh, it's gonna be a fun week. I'll have updates tomorrow, including more details on the reduced and mainly "procedural" first day of the RNC.

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