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This is the personal weblog of Aakash Raut, established Sept. 2002. It will cover current affairs, worldwide & national topics, local & university events, and provide insight and commentary on contemporary issues and the news from his perspective. Enjoy!

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    Thursday, June 23, 2016

    Who Would Rothbard Support?
    Would the great Dr. Murray Rothbard endorse Donald J. Trump?

    We interrupt the bloggage backlog (and inactivity), to bring you a new piece. Thanks to comments posted at a recent FB post - and this unusually bizarre election season! - I have a little motivation to publish (to publish more than Social Media posts).

    I recently asserted that the late, great Dr. Murray Rothbard would endorse Donald Trump's current presidential campaign.

    Those who scoff at this idea should be reminded that in the last presidential election before his passing, Professor Rothbard enthusiastically endorsed for President Patrick J. Buchanan, followed by Ross Perot, and finally incumbent President George Herbert Walker Bush.

    Let's examine Rothbard's last endorsement, and see what might apply now. (All highlights and hyperlinks were added by me.)

    Hold Back the Hordes for 4 More Years
    Any sensible American has one real choice--George Bush.

    by Murray N. Rothbard

    As often happens, my current quandary was put best by my old friend, Prof. Ralph Raico. He was an ardent Buchananite, but as the horrible nomination of "Slick Willie" loomed, he began to admonish me, in his hilarious mocking half-serious tone: "Remember Murray, we must do nothing to harm the President." When the Perot phenomenon hit, Raico, for some unaccountable reason, failed to share my enthusiasm for the little punk from East Texas. After the Great Betrayal, I was ranting and raving over the phone to Raico, who took it all in, and then concluded: "I'm glad to see you're working your way back to the President."

    Yes, gulp, I'm down to the grim, realistic choice: Which of two sets of bozos is going to rule us in 1993-1997?

    No one has been more critical of George Bush than I, but yes, dammit, I am working my way back to the President. What? "Four More Years?" Yes, there is only one rational answer for the conservative, the libertarian, or indeed any sensible American.

    In Bush's favor:

    --First and foremost, Bush ain't Clinton.

    --Bush has kept his cool and not gotten American troops or even airmen in a shooting war in the former Yugoslavia. The poor Bosnian Muslims claim that all the United States need do is bomb Serbian gun emplacements around Sarajevo. Rubbish. Objective military experts say that it would take a 500,000-man expeditionary force to secure Bosnia and Sarajevo, and God knows how many more to roll back the Serbs. America, keep out of Bosnia!

    [Note: Remember Donald Trump's recent comments on NATO.]

    --Bush has the most even-handed Middle East policy since Jack Kennedy. The most credit, of course, goes to Secretary of State James A. Baker III, who formulated this policy and maintained it under vicious pressure. But Bush deserves credit for picking Baker and backing him up. With only a little stretching, Bush/Baker can even take credit for the Israeli election that got rid of Yitzhak Shamir.

    --Last but certainly not least: The President is about to reconcile with Pat Buchanan. At last, Bush has shown some smarts, and perhaps even a spark of a sense of justice. After a vicious and despicable smear campaign by Rich Bond, William Bennett, Dan Quayle et al., the Bush people--while of course not apologizing--are at least implicitly repudiating their own smears by rolling out the welcome mat for Buchanan. Which brings us to the ghastly specter of Clintonian Democracy.

    Against Clinton:

    --Clinton as Southern moderate is the Big Lie of the 1992 campaign. He is a McGovernite. When he says "investment," he means government spending.

    --The Clinton-managed Democratic convention was the most leftist ever: multiculturalism reigned triumphant, with "Lesbian Rights" banners almost as prevalent as "Clinton for President." Clinton means the triumph of ultrafeminism, trillions more of our dough for inner cities and the aggrandizement of phony "rights" over the genuine rights of private property.

    --Al Gore was one of the biggest spenders in the wild-spending recent Congress. Gore, furthermore, is an extreme-left environmentalist, and he shores up Clinton's left flank on this issue.

    --Never forget the menace of Hillary Clinton. Sure, they cleaned up her act until November; they shut her up, bobbed and blonded her hair and took that damned headband off, and made her look like a sophisticated matron instead of an aging grad student. But if Clinton wins in November, Hillary will be back: in control, nasty, tough and very leftist.

    Mom and Dad: Hillary Is Out to Grab Your Kids! Hillary is the prophet of the children's "rights" movement, a movement that encourages 11-year-olds to sue their parents for "malpractice," and you know who will really be doing the suing: leftist ACLU-type lawyers in the mold of Hillary.

    There is a lot of confused discussion about family values and what they mean. Well, there's one clear test: Family values means that kids get governed by their parents. Anti-family values means that other folk--bureaucrats, lawyers, social workers and "therapists," the rapacious, power-hungry, leftist New Class--get to run everyone's kids in the name of children's "rights" and "liberation."

    A vote for Bill Clinton is a vote to destroy the last vestige of parental control and responsibility in America. A victory for Bush will--at least partly--hold back the hordes for another four years. Of course, that is not exactly soul-satisfying. What would be soul-satisfying would be taking the offensive at long last, launching a counter-revolution in government, in the economy, in the culture, everywhere against malignant left-liberalism. When oh when do we get to start?

    After this issue arose via my Social Media, I did a web search, and found that I'm not alone in this thinking.

    Check out:
    - Rothbard on Trump?, Lew Rockwell
    - Libertarians for Trump, Walter E. Block
    - Lew Rockwell and Walter Block support Donald Trump, A Call to Paul
    - Murray Rothbard Would Have Loved Donald Trump (No endorsement implied, of the author or his website.)
    - What Would Rothbard Think of Trump?, Dr. George Hawley
    - Is Trump the Peace Candidate?, Justin Raimondo

    Thursday, May 26, 2016

    Texas, Thunderstorms, and the National Spelling Bee 2016

    If you follow me on Social Media (that's kind of taken over blogging, hasn't it?), you saw that I'm traveling. We're currently in the Lone Star State.

    We were going to go out shopping this evening, but a thunderstorm (or at least hard rain) got in our way. But then I saw that my parents have the National Spelling Bee on!

    I remember live-Tweeting - I mean, live-blogging! - during a prior Scripps-Howard National Spelling Bee. They are televised on ESPN each year. If you look at that post, you'll see a 1996 article from the State Journal-Register, on my family's trip to DC, for this event. My brilliant brother Yogesh made it to Nationals, that year.

    Saturday, April 30, 2016

    Watching the White House Correspondents' Dinner @BarackObama @CNN #TV.

    ...I remember, in late 2008/early 2009, thinking that I'm going to miss them (the Bushes). Though W. was a bad president, he's a good man.

    Friday, April 15, 2016

    While this blog continues to languish...

    I'm watching "A Bone to Pick: An Aurora Teagarden Mystery" #NowPlaying on the Hallmark Movies & Mysteries #TV channel.

    The film is starting out with a discussion of the (real-life) Halls-Mills case. I remember reading about this, when younger... It was way before my time (I'm not *that* old!), but I was a fan of true crime and real-life mysteries, when growing up.

    Update [6:40pm]: I interrupt my movie watching to tune in to WLUJ, as I just realized that Adventures in Odyssey is #NowPlaying. :-)

    Saturday, April 09, 2016

    Today, I've been streaming the Azusa Now event, taking place in California. At my church, there was a gathering where they live-streamed it.

    It's still going on! Watch NOW, at:

    Friday, April 01, 2016


    Hillary Clinton to be indicted.

    But refuses to withdraw from presidential race.

    Wednesday, January 06, 2016

    Merry Christmas!!

    Today is the 12th Day of Christmas.

    (Let's extend Christmas a few days.)

    Friday, January 01, 2016

    Happy New Year!!

    My 2015 was a year of improvement and renewal, but I know that this year will be even better.

    May the Lord Jesus Christ guide you through a year of betterment, revival, and prosperity!

    God Bless!!

    Friday, December 25, 2015

    Christmas continued...

    I'm going to need another Christmas continuance this year.

    Christmas isn't over tonight!

    Merry CHRISTmas!!

    "For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counseller, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace." - Isaiah 9:6

    Tuesday, October 06, 2015

    While We Wait: Thank you, McDonald's

    If you arrived at 10:31am (or perhaps 11:01am), it was too late!

    But now, McDonald's is offering it's awesome breakfast (is it the whole breakfast menu, or just select items) all day!

    Our local McDonald's had actually already started All Day Breakfast, a couple of weeks or so ago. I've been getting the Sausage McMuffin, without the meat.

    McDonald's is a GREAT company (I wish that CEO was still there, though), and thanks to them, for this business decision!

    I think I might do a McD run right now (I found at least one local store that's still open 24/7). Maybe not tonight. :-)

    Friday, October 02, 2015

    While We Wait... Learn How To Boost Your SEO!

    I was glad to get my blog jump-started again, and like before, I have posts I would like to get published. And like before, I haven't published them. I'm also trying to get other blogs underway, and I'm debating what format/website would be best, for my future writings.

    In the meantime, I might re-post some content here. Here's an article on Search Engine Optimization (SEO), by David Prochaska of Fidelitas Development:

    (As with other articles shared here, the embedded hyperlinks were added by me, and didn't appear in the original pieces.)

    3 Ways to Boost Your Local SEO

    Over the last few years, Google has been delivering more localized search results. That’s a good thing for local businesses because it gives them a chance to actually show up in the search results. In the past, local businesses struggled for a spot on Google’s first page; now they have their own section!

    So what is it that actually helps a business rank higher in the local search results? There are 3 ways to boost your Local SEO: citations, reviews, and schema.

    1) Local Citations

    Many people view these as directories, but they’re mistaken. A local citation is anywhere you list your business name, address, phone number, and maybe your website, along with pictures and a description of your business.

    You don’t want to fire out your business information at any website that accepts it. The major sites to cite your business include Google+, Bing, Yahoo, Yelp, YellowPages, CitySearch, Factual, DexKnows, Acxiom, and Infogroup. There are more, but those are the major ones you should stick with initially.

    It’s important when listing your business to have a consistent NAP, which is name, address, and phone number. Don’t fret over every little thing like ‘St.’ and ‘Street’. Google is smart enough to know they mean the same thing. What you don’t want is two different phone numbers, different addresses, or a totally different business name.

    2) Reviews

    Your business is awesome, so people are going to leave you awesome reviews, right? Let’s hope so because reviews are a big factor when it comes to ranking your local business in the search engines. There are a few things you should know about getting reviews.

    Google+ is the main place to get reviews. After all, Google is who displays the search results, right? Don’t stick solely to Google though. Google finds other places you get reviews, and you’re able to see this on your Google+ page. The next most important place is Yelp. Yelp can be an awesome traffic driver to your website, aside from the local SEO benefits of having great reviews on there.

    The speed you get reviews is taken into account as well. If you are getting decent reviews on a constant basis, Google knows and Google rewards this. If you get one review this month, 10 reviews the next months, and no reviews the next month, that’s going to look odd. Make the customer experience so awesome that people seek out a place to leave you reviews.

    If your customers don’t know where they can leave a review for your business, encourage them with handouts at your place of business or have a Yelp badge on your website. People want to talk about your business, but sometimes it feels like work looking for a place to leave a review. Make it easy for them.

    3) Schema

    Implementing Schema on your website is a way of placing certain code on your website so that it will communicate better with the search engines. There are many different types of Schema, but we’re going to focus on local businesses.

    Things you can include in your Schema code are name, description, address, city, state, zip code, phone number, email address, and a Google map. I’m not going to get in the technicalities of it but just know that it works!

    Local SEO is becoming more prevalent, and many business are already adopting the above practices, so don’t get left behind sucking your thumb. As I said, there are hundreds of factors when it comes to how your website ranks locally, but hopefully you can take these three steps and gain some traction.

    ...Note: Check out the original article, at the Fidelitas Development blog.

    Update: Here is a follow-up article I'm sharing, by Tyler Sickmeyer of Fidelitas Development, on the same subject.

    4 Tips on Improving Local SEO

    When most marketers discuss SEO, they focus on broader link building campaigns and detailed on-page SEO strategies. But for most brick-and-mortar businesses, local SEO strategies are a critical component for any internet marketing campaign. Many searches for local businesses and brands include the geographic area, and sites like Yelp can be optimized to increase impressions and exposure to prospective customers. Here are four local SEO tips and tricks to help improve your site’s rankings in local search:

    1) Make sure your online listings are consistent.

    The devil is in the details. Businesses that are truly optimized for local search have the same name, address, website, and phone number on each and every local directory, from Yelp and to directory submission sites like Localeze.

    2) Leverage social media.

    Make sure that your business’s information is listed correctly on each social profile. Further, continue to engage your customers with compelling content and promotions in order to appear higher in the search rankings by attracting more fans and followers. One Fidelitas client has been so successful at this that their Facebook page actually ranks first in most local searches for their targeted keywords.

    3) Build a local Public Relations campaign.

    Take advantage of local PR opportunities to generate credible links in addition to immediate buzz. Restaurants targeting foodie blogs and Realtors targeting local publications with quality content and actual news are two examples of PR opportunities for smaller businesses.

    4) Optimize your own site.

    Too many businesses overlook an easy opportunity to take local SEO into their own hands by optimizing their website. One problem with many website designers is that while they are capable of building a nice looking website, they often prove to be inept when it comes to on-page SEO. Besides tweaking copy to include as many local references as possible, businesses should incorporate local search phrases into their ALT tags and page titles. Finally, be sure that the contact information listed on the site matches what has been submitted to local directories and social media pages.

    Original articles posted at the Fidelitas blog.

    Saturday, August 01, 2015

    Young Republican National Federation
    National Convention

    I have some interesting blog entries saved as drafts (which this time, I actually hope to publish ;-).

    Right now, I'm live-Tweeting the excitement at the Young Republican National Convention!

    Follow us live from Chicago!


    Young Republican National Federation (YRNF) officers
    CONGRATULATIONS to the newly elected 2015 YRNF Officers!

    Young Republican National Federation (YRNF) leaders, at Chicago's Navy Pier

    Sunday, July 26, 2015

    Back to Blogging
    Just do it

    One major obstacle I experience, insofar as blogging in the past few years, is that I feel I can't blog on a whim, and feel like I need to clear a backlog of planned posts. Anyway: I think I should overcome that; maybe I need to reboot this blog again - or just get over this hindrance!

    The next (or prior) few entries will be commentary linked to MTV's controversial documentary "White People."

    Back to Blogging

    This series of blog posts involves MTV's recent "White People" documentary, which was the buzz in the Twitterverse. This post provides a few thoughts on the film.

    - I actually have somewhat mixed feelings on this. I concur with those criticizing this film for its motives and divisive setup.

    - I don't support the filmmaker - who is here ILLEGALLY; how is MTV going to pay him?

    - I don't agree with the liberal agenda that the film - and its accompanying materials - are trying to push. And I don't like the overemphasis on race - I think Morgan Freeman and Frederick Douglass had it right. Wrongful focus on "white privilege," "racism," "diversity," and "multiculturalism" - and on past injustices - can actually breed resentment against minorities, inflame tensions, and further divide us. I remember being annoyed when I was at UIUC, seeing flyers on the topic of "White Privilege."

    - However: The material accompanying the film did get me thinking (at least a little bit) about subtle, beneath the surface, advantages and disadvantages that come with one's race. My trip to NYC showed me that I am often being looked at (literally and figuratively) differently, because of my race. I don't know how different my social, political, and civic life would have been, had I been white.

    - However: I don't feel comfortable tackling these topics, and I question the need to make young white people "uncomfortable" (one of the purposes of the film), by focusing on these issues that divide us. And, as reflected by the overwhelming negative comment posts I've seen about this film, there are legitimate grievances that white Americans have, insofar as the "diversity" movement and so-called "reverse" discrimination (discrimination is discrimination!).

    One more thing: I hope someone fact-checks the documentary's claim that whites are 40% more likely to get private scholarships than people of color. I suspect this is a misleading claim.

    One more more thing: It would not be in anyone's interest if whites became a minority in the United States. This could inflame racial tensions, and cause other problems as well.

    Others' thoughts on this:

    - MTV takes on White Privilege
    - "White People" Trailer under fire for promoting white shame
    - Jose Antonio Vargas doc isn't a great discussion of race in America
    - Rush Limbaugh: MTV documentary shames white youth
    - From our friend Dan Flynn: Stuff White People Did
    - White People doc only skims the surface
    - "Racist" MTV White People show receives huge backlash
    - Backlash to the film shows why it was needed
    - MTV's "White People" sparks massive Twitter discussion
    - Undocumented ILLEGAL director of ‘White People’ just wants to spark conversations
    - Kareem Abdul-Jabar: White People gets it right about being white
    - covers the film
    - Liberals Pan the Documentary: Not long or guilt-inducing enough
    - MTV's White People is coming to a classroom near you

    One more thing: There was a scene in the film... (See my entry below.)

    Labels: , ,

    List of words that do not cause someone in America to be offended and have a complete meltdown:1.End of list.
    Posted by Are you kidding me? on Saturday, July 25, 2015


    My friend's above FB post was posted independently of anything else, and didn't necessarily have anything to do with the scene from the film discussed above.

    Slurs and Supastars
    What can we still say?

    Can someone provide a list of terms that are now off-limits?

    Is "ghetto," used as an adjective or adverb, now a slur?

    Remember this, from high school? (or from kindergarten, for some of you young'ns)


    Update: But what is this? Lol. :-)

    And see my entry below, for another word that's now causing controversy. (What are we still allowed to say?)

    Labels: , , ,

    Bugged by "Thugs"?

    One more thing, in my series of blog entries sparked by the MTV documentary: Is "thug" now a racial slur? If so, against whom?

    Something I learned from dad, when I used that term: It's actually from India.

    In case I ever get into trouble for using this word... I want to preempt that right now, by clarifying that I'm not using it in a racial sense. I've used it before to describe Bosnians (who are Muslim, but white), and to describe the President currently on the dime.

    And what the heck is a "ratchet"?


    Update: Here is blogger Thomas Lifson's piece on this same subject; apparently, it caused controversy a few months ago.

    Labels: , , ,

    Sunday, June 21, 2015

    Happy Father's Day

    This blog, when it was active, had a strong inclination to link to - and with good reason! was a 'father' of this and possibly other blogs.

    And Josh Claybourn - who had another birthday recently (he was born just 16 days before me - but has become more accomplished) - recently became a father himself.

    Happy Father's Day to Josh - and all other fathers!

    My last post at Watchblog was for this occasion - 10 years ago!

    From that 2005 blog entry, a piece from the great Joe Galloway: From Iraq, a Soldier/Father's Perspective on the War [via]

    "And, ye fathers, provoke not your children to wrath: but bring them up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord."
    ~Ephesians 6:4~

    Monday, May 25, 2015

    Thank you to all of our current and former servicemembers.

    I hope everyone has had a good Memorial Day, with thoughts about our great nation and its heroes.

    Thursday, May 14, 2015

    Thursday, May 07, 2015

     City of Springfield - Inauguration 2015

    Congratulations to the elected officials in the City of Springfield (IL), who were sworn in, just a bit ago, in Sangamon Auditorium on the UIS campus.

    I wasn't involved much in Election 2015, but was in Election 2011 - and especially in Election 2007!

    Today's event may be the first-ever Inauguration in which a Republican City Clerk (Let's Go Lesko!) + a GOP-majority City Council are sworn in.

    Tuesday, January 06, 2015

    Merry CHRISTmas!!

    In response to some Christmastime angst I expressed years ago, Adrianne Truett reminded us that today is still Christmas!…/merry-christmas-someone-shoul…

    Merry CHRISTmas, to you and yours!!