rexblog rnc-blogging details’s steady drip, drip, drip of magazine news will be preempted for the next few days as I attend the Republican National Convention. In addition to the front-page reverse-chronological posts, I will set up a “rexblog rnc archive” page to organize whatever happens. I will be doing some straight reporting and editing (not the typical ramblings found here) regarding small business-related issues for my day-job and will also point in that direction.

I am not a “credentialed” blogger although I will have access to the convention and other related events. My “coverage” won’t be comprehensive and I doubt I’ll be commenting much on speeches and activities you’ll see on TV. I hope to try some photo, audio and video blogging. Also, I plan on being as flexible as possible. So, for instance, I’d be happy to respond real-time to any requests the 7 readers of this weblog may have during the week. Feel free to e-mail me with a suggestion like, “Rex, can you skip the session this afternoon and go blog the Final Cut Pro seminar at the Apple Store.” Or, “Rex, bag the convention and come meet me for coffee at the Starbucks in the Sony building.” Whatever.

As I am a believer in transparency, I have provided a “full disclosure” of my political leanings, motivations and agenda below.

Full disclosure: Because I’ve rarely blogged political issues, but am now blogging a major politician event, I thought I would come clean on where I stand on the issues. Here’s a FAQ-like page full of information in the unlikely event that what I might say in the next few days may need some context.

How to reach me: e-mail rexhammock(at)

Who am I: See this. Also, some people know me as “Hammock Man,” that guy who blogged his meeting with the president.

What I’m going to blog about: Who I meet. What I see. Stuff not on TV.

My “agenda”: Curiosity

My voting record: In the past four years, I have voted the following way: For my state’s current governor who is a Democrat; I was a contributor to and have long supported as a friend and fellow-soccer-dad my current U.S. Representative who is a Democrat; I was a contributor to and voted for Nashville’s current mayor who is a Democrat (but technically, the mayor’s race in Nashville is non-partisan); I voted for two (here and here) U.S. Senators who are Republicans and coincidentally attend the same Presbyterian (USA) church I do. Despite voting in elections starting in 1972, the first Republican presidential candidate I ever voted for was George H.W. Bush, however in retrospect, I should have voted for Reagan. Since then, I voted for Dole and George W. Bush. I will vote for him again in November.

My political party affiliation: While I acknowledge I am not a Democrat, I can’t claim that I’m “affiliated” with the Republican Party as there are many issues related to the appropriate role of government that place me outside today’s GOP mainstream. My politics are more influenced by being a small business owner, parent and concerned citizen than by any adherence to a narrow political dogma. Despite having been called one, I am not a Karl Rove operative but I don’t think he’s demonic. I try very hard to vote in every election, even the goofy ones for dog catcher.

Business disclosure: I am a small business owner. Along with other things, my company publishes MyBusiness magazine and helps maintain the editorial content of for the 600,000 members of the nation’s largest and most powerful association of small business owners, NFIB. I am a member of the organization and the organization has been a client of Hammock Publishing for 12 years. All NFIB’s policy stances are determined by ongoing membership-wide balloting of its membership. The issues NFIB lobbies are limited exclusively to business-oriented regulatory and related issues that impact small business ownership and operations. Almost always, I find myself agreeing with the majority of NFIB members on where they stand on this narrow range of issues. However, nothing in this weblog is approved by, sanctioned by, or has any direct relationship to my affiliation with NFIB. On this weblog, I’m not speaking on behalf of anyone but myself. In other words, nothing I say here should be interpreted as “speaking for” anyone other than me. Frankly, the folks at NFIB are way more capable of speaking for themselves than I am.

On Iraq and the war on terror: I’m not happy we’re at war, but we are. It started long before 9/11 but on that date, I became convinced those who irrationally view American culture and commerce (and Christianity? Judism?) as the causes of their society’s and their personal problems decided to attack us within our shores. I don’t believe our country has the choice to avoid taking the fight to those who openingly declare their intentions and desire to destroy us. I don’t like that our country’s power is wrongly viewed by others as imperialistic and threatening, but I don’t believe we should make geopolitical decisions based on polling data regarding whether or not those surveyed in other countries like us or not.

Military service: I am too young (by three months) to have been subjected to the draft. Even if I had volunteered, I was too young (by a couple of years) to ever have been sent to Vietnam, so I never faked any military records and did not move to Canada or win any Purple Hearts or miss any National Guard weekends.

Government service: I spent three years as a speechwriter and press secretary for a member of Congress (a Democrat), a man with boundless charm and potential but unfortunately without what I regard an adequate compass for his personal character. The experience did not sour me on politics or government service, but did purge me of most (if not all) idealistic notions regarding them. In no small way, the stint in Washington fostered my desire for a career in free-market commerce where motivations are typically transparently profit-driven, but when truly successful, tend to benefit all involved.

Other disclosures: Mac, not windows. Treo, not Blackberry. Boxers, not briefs. Coke, not Pepsi. Tennis, not golf. Biking, not jogging. Manila, not Movable Type.