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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, October 31, 2002

    Wow! What a coincidence...
    Just this evening, while in class, I was thinking about the Minnesota situation - the vacancy in the U.S. Senate. I thought that, since Ventura is an independent, why doesnt he appoint an independent, rather than a Democrat, to the open position? And now, I read that that is precisely what he is planning on doing.

    "I felt used. I felt... violated and duped... [T]hat turned into nothing more than a political rally... I think the Democrats should hang their heads in shame."
    - Governor Jesse Ventura, expressing outrage at the nature of the Wellstone memorial service

    Associated Press:
    Ventura Upset Over Wellstone Service

    Minneapolis Star-Tribune:
    Republicans Booed; Trent Lott, Governor, First Lady Walk Out
    Ventura: 'Democrats Should Hang Their Heads in Shame'

    Thanks to Ben Domenech's blog for alerting me to the AP news item above. Also see the flashback photo and Mondale quote in the top post on Ben's blog.

    Update: More on Mondale...

    Wellstone's campaign manager has apologized for what happened at the memorial service-turned-campaign rally, but Governor Ventura still says that he will appoint an independent, non-partisan Minnesotan to fill the Senate vacancy.
    "Ventura's statement provoked a flurry of calls, e-mails and faxed resumes to the governor's office from average people who want to be a U.S. senator for a few weeks." (Pioneer Press)

    Actually, depending on when the winner of the Mondale-Coleman election offically takes office, it could be more than a few weeks that this "average" citizen stays in office. Every two years, new members of Congress are sworn in on January 3rd. In this particular case, however, there is a dispute as to whether the winner of the Minnesota Senate election would take office in January 2003 with the rest of the congressmen, or earlier on November 19, as soon as the election results are certified (which would be one week after the Senate reconvenes for its lame-duck session). The Minnesota Attorney General, Democrat Mike Hatch, says that it is the latter (November 19), while the Governor's office thinks it may be the former (January 3). Governor Ventura says that he has asked the Attorney General and the U.S. Senate for clarification on these rules.

    This could make a big difference as to who controls the Senate during the lame-duck session of Congress.

    Did the Democrats overlook a qualified African-American candidate?

    Dems Mondale Pick Snubbed Qualified Black Candidate
    "Democratic Party power brokers in Minnesota picked Walter Mondale as their best hope to retain the late Paul Wellstone's senate seat after passing over a qualified black candidate for racial reasons.

    "There was one other possibility [besides Mondale]," reports Robert Novak in his Thursday column. "Alan Page, the 57-year-old former Notre Dame and Minnesota Vikings football star who has been an associate justice of the Minnesota Supreme Court since 1993."

    The Dems went with Mondale instead, says Novak, because "the [Democratic Farmer Labor Party] apparently did not want to risk running the African-American Page in an overwhelmingly Caucasian state...."
    Read this NewsMax article here, and see the pertinent Novak column here. Bob Novak's previous column detailed his time spent with Wellstone two days before his passing.

    Was Wellstone's crash more than an accident?

    Loony leftist columnist Ted Rall believes that Senator Wellstone may have been assassinated. And who may "possibly" have been behind this assassination? President Bush, of course.

    [Ted Rall, as some may remember, is the columnist and cartoonist who caused controversy last spring with a controversial cartoon that was said to inappropriately mock the families of the terror victims. After complaints and pressure from many people (including conservative bloggers!), The New York Times pulled the cartoon from their website.]

    Following the Wellstone tragedy on Friday, I was thinking that conspiracy theorists will probably soon be coming up with theories as to how and why Senator Wellstone was killed. That type of thing can always be expected after a tragedy like this occurs.

    Though Mr. Rall did not make specific claims about the alleged "assassination," this blogger seems to have it all figured out. And in Baltimore, City Councilman Dr. Kwame Osayaba Abayomi (who, until recently was "Dr. Norman A. Handy") says that the CIA murdered Wellstone because of his opposition to the war with Iraq. At least he didn't blame President Bush.

    And speaking of President Bush and assassination, did you know that there are some who claim that the first President Bush was behind the assassination attempt on President Reagan? Parascope laid out that case in this report, which I actually came across several years ago. Their claims appear to be ridiculously weak, and at the end of that piece, they mention the alleged Bush-CIA-Bay of Pigs connection. But that's a whole different story.

    A much more credible allegation of assassination and conspiracy is that regarding the death of Ron Brown. As many remember, Brown was the U.S. Secretary of Commerce in the Clinton Administration. He was under investigation by an independent cousel, and may have been about to plead guilty and give evidence in the Chinagate and campaign finance scandals. Go here for's Ron Brown section. Also see this archive of reknowned reporter Christopher Ruddy's articles on the Ron Brown case. The actual photos from the Ron Brown plane crash and death examination are available here. And this FreeRepublic page contains information and message board comments with an article on "The Botched Ron Brown Investigation."

    Update: I just realized that other online writers are thinking like me... World Net Daily is featuring all these bizarre theories and claims in its current lead story. This WND report also comments on the Ron Brown crash.

    Tuesday, October 29, 2002

    I have been VERY swamped with school work, home work, campaign work, and a slew of other stuff these past several days. Below is a backlog of entries that I should have posted for some of these past days:

    (in chronological order)

    Wednesday, October 23, 2002

    Happy Mole Day!!
    For those who have never had chemistry, or who never had a high school science teacher like mine (Hi Mr. Szabo!), you've probably never heard the Mole Song. (Mr. Szabo used to come to school dressed up as a mole every 10/23... He probably still does.)

    A mole is a unit, or have you heard?
    Containing 6 x 10 to the 23rd.
    That's 6 with 23 zeros at the end,
    Much too big a number to comprehend.

    You can see the full Mole Song, and listen to the above part of it here. And click here for the website of the National Mole Day Foundation.

    Thursday, October 24, 2002

    Well, today is "United Nations Day." Those who I have discussed politics with before know that you don't want to get me started on the topics of the U.N., World Government, and the "New World Order."

    I posted comments on the U.N. at the blogs of The Hoosier Review (Indiana U.), Paul Musgrave, and others. See my blog comments at Patrick Carver's blog (The Ole Miss Conservative), in which I suggest that he declare his site a "UN-Free Zone," like some towns and websites have been doing recently. (Actually, in my comments on Patrick's blog, I accidently typed the wrong blog name, as you can see in his response. Sorry Patrick!... So many blogs to read... and so little time.)

    Anyway, I am now officially declaring "University Blog" a UN-Free Zone.

    Find out more about how to declare your website, dorm room, house, car, or community a UN-Free Zone, see the following:

    Friday, October 25, 2002

    Paul Wellstone (1944-2002)

    U.S. Senator Paul Wellstone (D-MN), his wife, and daughter, have died in a plane crash. This is tragic. Though I would strongly disagree with most of his views, Senator Wellstone was a principled, courageous, and firm leader, someone who we all must admire, regardless of our political ideology. Our country will miss his focus, resolve, and sincerity greatly. All the best to his family, and to all the families and friends of the crash victims.

    Memorial Page for Senator Wellstone:
    Paul Wellstone, 1944-2002: Interviews and audio from National Public Radio
    Yahoo! News: Full Coverage on this topic

    Saturday, October 26, 2002

    On a much happier note, fellow central Illinois youth blogger IlliniGirl is getting married today. Congratulations, and best of luck!! :-)

    Friday, October 18, 2002

    Well, the Chicago Sun-Times has endorsed Rod Blagojevich for governor. Read the endorsement here at the Sun Times' website.

    Not much of a surprise there. But the Chicago Tribune is also expected to endorse Rod. And some people say that the Tribune is a "conservative" newspaper. Well, I guess by Chicago standards, it would be conservative.

    Last spring, the Tribune endorsed Corinne Wood (the liberal R.I.N.O. candidate) for the Republican nomination for governor. It is scary that she managed to get 28% of the vote in the March 19th GOP primary. Pat O'Malley, the conservative candidate, received only 29%.

    And last Sunday, the Tribune gave its endorsement for the Illinois Attorney General's race. As expected, they picked liberal Democrat Lisa Madigan, daughter of the infamous Chicago political machine leader and State House Speaker Mike Madigan. The Illinois Leader, in the photo caption to its article on this, writes: "Surely the Tribune Company requires that its corporate attorneys have more experience than Ms. Madigan." In the Democratic primary, the Tribune endorsed Lisa Madigan's opponent, John Schmidt, stating, "Lisa Madigan would be legally disqualified from being a traffic court judge. But (Michael Madigan) believes she is ready to be Illinois' top lawyer."

    Visit the campaign site of the most qualified candidate for Attorney General: Experienced DuPage County prosecutor Joe Birkett.

    One other interesting item along these lines: Jim Durkin, the Republican nominee for U.S. Senate (who is challenging the incumbent Democrat Senator Dick Durbin, has suprisingly earned the endorsement of the Chicago Sun-Times. Read that endorsement here. Mr. Durkin's campaign site is at

    Saturday, October 12, 2002

    Erika Wins Again!

    Pageant allows new Miss America to promote abstinence (Washington Times, 10/10/02)
    "Miss America 2003, Erika Harold, announced in Illinois yesterday that she has won her battle with pageant officials over the right to talk about teen sexual chastity."

    Dan Proft and the Illinois Leader are also mentioned in this article. It says that Erika credited the previous day's Washington Times article for bringing attention to this issue. I had earlier thanked blogger Ben Domench for bringing that article to my attention (in his October 9th post); I should have been aware of it.

    Illinois Leader:
    Miss America bursts condom crowd's balloon, Jonathan Imbody, Christian Medical Association
    Miss America: "Unzipped" (Oct. 9)
    The "Bullying" of Miss America (Oct. 3)

    More coverage and commentary:
    Miss America wins battle to discuss abstinence, Traditional Values Coalition
    Miss America was ordered not to promote abstinence, Washington Times Weekly
    Miss America chiefs turn politically correct, C. B. Luce Policy Institute
    Miss America Unplugged, Beverly LaHaye Institute
    'Will not be bullied' Beauty Queen Bolsters Abstinence Message, Agape Press
    Press Release: Miss America Censored on Abstinence Message, Family Research Council
    Physicians Support Miss America's Abstinence Message, Nat'l Physicians Center
    Guts and Glory, Mona Charen
    Out of the Miss America closet, Suzanne Fields
    U.S. Congressman Tim Johnson (R-IL) hosts Erika Harold on Capitol Hill

    And, speaking of issues facing the youth of today, check out former Congressman Asa Hutchinson's recent opinion piece in the Washington Post on drug legalization. The libertarians must be "smoking mad" about this article.

    Thursday, October 10, 2002

    I can't leave out the latest updates on our Illinois governor's race! Visiting the Illinois Leader website, I just found out that they are [reluctanty] endorsing Jim Ryan for Governor. I didn't even know that the Leader was going to make endorsements. They were formed right after the March primaries, so this is the first election that they are covering.

    To see a transcript and commentary from Monday night's gubernatorial debate in Rockford (between Jim Ryan and Rod Blagojevich) you can visit the special debate section of the Rockford newspaper's website. Currently, 57% of the people who voted in their online poll say that Jim Ryan won the debate. According to the Illinois Leader, however, the general consensus among the viewers it that "it was a tie." One woman who watched the debate wrote to the Leader that, according the the amount of laughter, Ryan won; even Blagojevich had to laugh several times. Not having seen much of the debate (they showed it at 2:10 AM on C-SPAN; I fell asleep shortly after it begun), I wonder if everyone was laughing with Jim Ryan, or at him.

    Update: C-SPAN has finally added the video of this first Illinois gubernatorial debate (from Monday, October 7) to their website. Go to their Campaign 2002 Debates web page here, scroll down to the bottom, and click on "Next 10 records." The Ryan-Blagojevich debate should be one of the top ones listed on that second page. To directly download the video of the debate, you can also follow this link:
    You will need the free RealPlayer program to view it on your computer.

    Cal Skinner, the former Republican state legislator who is the Libertarian Party's nominee for Governor, was excluded from the debate, despite having met the 5% poll criterion (the minimum poll number required for participation in the debate) set by the League of Women Voters. Though the League was initially the sponsor of the debates, the debates will now be held without their sponsorship. Because of Cal's exclusion, Kevin Matthews of Aurora believes that the people of Illinois were the real losers of the debate.

    Read this article in the Chicago Sun-Times about how Mr. Skinner accidentally tried marijuana. (No, he didn't inhale... but he swallowed.)

    Also: Yesterday, there was an article indicating that the conservative groups in Illinois were getting ready to give their endorsements to candidates. It will be very interesting to see who gets the endorsements.

    Wow! Yesterday, my blog received a total of 16 HITS! (That's somewhat high for a beginning blog.) Thanks to all those who linked here.

    I had earlier been been meaning to include, in this blog, the letter below... Right now, as I type, the House is voting on the Iraq resolution.

    Letter Written on Tuesday afternoon, October 8:

    (I wrote this to the MSNBC show Buchanan and Press, right after viewing their "College Debate" on the Iraq war. The "debate" was between the President of College Republicans at George Washington University and the President of College Democrats. The College Democrat pres was clearly very nervous, and froze up several times during the "debate.")

    Edited version of letter to Buchanan and Press (Tuesday afternoon):

    Dear Pat & Bill:

    I am active in College Republicans at my University, and I have been adamantly opposing the upcoming war with Iraq. It is unfortunate that the college debate that we just saw was between the head of College Republicans and the head of College Democrats. This furthers the myth that "anti-war" is a liberal viewpoint, and being a "war hawk" is a conservative value. Nothing could be further from the truth. I am a strong conservative, but I am from the School of the Old Right - I am NOT a neoconservative. The neocons have entered the conservative movement and conned everyone into believing that conservatism involves the support of endless warfare, government expansion, and empire. True conservatism is pro-liberty, pro-sovereignty, pro-Constitution, pro-America First, pro-free markets, anti-state, anti-Leviathan, anti-war, and anti-New World Order.

    It is time for all traditional conservatives, paleo-conservatives, pro-liberty Republicans, constitutionalists, and libertarians to reclaim the American Right.

    For more information on these issues, visit and Contact the Rockford Institute in Illinois, the Ludwig Von Mises Institute in Auburn, AL, or the office of Congressman Ron Paul (R-TX). And of course, subscribe to Pat's new paleo-conservative magazine, The American Conservative. Go Pat Go!

    Update: See this article from NewsMax:
    Republicans Who Voted Against Iraq Resolution Tell Why
    There are some liberals in there, such as Connie Morella and Amo Houghton, but congratulations to pro-liberty, pro-sovereignty, constitutional conservative Congressmen Ron Paul (R-TX), John Hostettler (R-IN), and John Duncan, Jr. (R-TN)!

    From what I see at his official home page, Congressman Hostettler just became one of my most favorite House members. It was neat to see Congressman Ron Paul, known for being Congress's constitutional adherent, debate Sean Hannity on Fox News. It is very interesting to see that the liberal Democrats, who consistently oppose "strict constructionist" federal judge appointees, are now making conservative constitutional arguments against the Iraq war resolution, while many Republicans and conservatives like Sean Hannity, who would ordinarily be "strict constructionists," are forced to use the liberal, "living document" constitutional viewpoint in order to justify the war resolution. With all of these hypocritical role reversals and ideological contradictions, it is great that we have true-blue, consistent conservatives, like Congressman Paul, to guide us through this time of uncertainty. Also see the top quotes at the website of the Constitution Party on war and the Constitution. The recently-formed, populist conservative "America First Party" has also taken a stance against the Iraq war; see their August 27th press release. Now, if the media would only start focusing on the conservative (and libertarian) opposition to the Iraq war and war resolution, instead of the just covering the left.

    Update 2: Speaking of Sean Hannity, and the conservatives who opposing this upcoming war, see this article by conservative Republican columnist and national defense/security expert David T. Pyne, Esq:
    David Pyne's Weekly Defense Article: Hannitize This
    To Sean Hannity: A Challenge to Debate You on Iraq
    It is so refreshing to see that I am not the only one who is unhappy with Mr. Hannity's disregard for the pro-liberty, pro-sovereignty, conservative voices against intervention in Iraq. David Pyne, currently the Executive Vice President of the Virginia Republican Assembly, is a national security expert who works in the US defense establishment responsible for the countries of the former Soviet Union and the Middle East among others. Mr. Pyne has briefed Army transformation and related issues at the Pentagon. He is also a licensed attorney and former Army Reserve Officer. In addition, he holds an MA in National Security Studies from Georgetown University. He is also a member of the Center for Emerging National Security Affairs based in Washington, D.C. See an extended bio of David T. Pyne here.
    Read more of Mr. Pyne's columns here, here, here, and here.

    Friday, October 04, 2002

    Note: I have been having big problems updating this blog lately. My computer does not seem to work very well with this blogger service. I've also had some very difficult tests this week. I have some posts that I typed within the past week, but was not able to post; I will post some of them now (if this blogger lets me). I plan to update more frequently in the future.

    Previous posts never posted:

    Written on September 30:
    Toricelli Talks
    Several of my fellow young bloggers have commented on US Senator Bob Toricelli's (D-NJ) withdrawl from the Senate race, and his speech in which he emotionally announced that he will not seek re-election. "When did we become so unforgiving?..." he said, tearfully. I don't know about you, but that sounded kinda corny. "When did you ask to be forgiven?..." Rush Limbaugh responded.

    See Ben Domenech's thoughts on this whole mess, and his listing of the top five most contested U.S. Senate races; and then read about what Toricelli did here.

    Also, please see my listing (click here) of the hottest U.S. Senate races. These races will determine whether the Republicans are able to take back the U.S. Senate.
    As you can see, there are 6 vulnerable Democrat incumbents. There are also 6 Republican-held seats in which the elections may be close; these consist of 3 vulnerable Republican incumbents, and 3 Republican Senators who are retiring.
    This page was created a couple months ago, so some things have changed since then. For example, some of the primaries have occured. Sadly, U.S. Senator Bob Smith (R-NH) has lost his bid for re-election, after being defeated in the primary by John Sununu. Senator Smith is a strong, principled conservative, and one of the greatest members of the Senate. The GOP Establishment does not like him, and pushed for his defeat. Shame on them!!

    I also have a similar page set up for the U.S. House races. More on that later.

    Reclaiming the Right
    Here is another post that I had written previously for this blog; it was written on September 28:
    (Note: This will be a very conservative blog, but it certainly will NOT be neoconservative. In fact, this is perhaps the only youth conservative blog that is taking a firm stance against the neocon agenda. (See my 9/15 post on the neocons and their New World Order agenda.)

    The great conservative columnist Charley Reese has written a good column on neocons (with a very true title). And also be sure to check out Bob Novak's latest column on the U.S. and Iraq (from the Conservative News site). It seems that, despite the bandwagon push to join the neocons, some conservatives are still bravely holding out against the war. This probably does not make Sean Hannity too happy. Last night, he and the others on his show almost totally ignored the antiwar conservatives. The Fox News website was not able to ignore them, though; here is a news piece on the new paleo-conservative magazine, The American Conservative. Tony Blankley's latest column in the Washington Times also covers this magazine. There was another Washington Times article about it as well.

    Also see this article by paleoconservative Kevin Tuma about conservativism and the problems of the GOP. I have not completely read through this column, so I can't say whether I agree entirely with in or not. EtherZone is a great site for traditional conservative news and views.