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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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    Wednesday, November 27, 2002

    Happy Thanksgiving!!

    Thanksgiving Proclamation of 1789 - George Washington
    Thanksgiving Proclamation of 1863 - Abraham Lincoln

    Great Michelle Malkin column!
    Thanksgiving Prayer 2002
    (This page was taken and modified from

    Also, check out:
    Thank God for our liberties, Traditional Values Coaltion
    What Thanksgiving Means to America, Rev. Jerry Falwell
    Let's Give Thanks for America, Wall Street Journal editors
    America Rocks! The Greatest Country the world has ever known, Ted Nugent
    Thansgiving Angst - Stop complaining... and enjoy!, Linda Chavez
    History and Compelling Notes for Reflection, Ross Mackenzie
    A Thanksgiving Lesson, Armstrong Williams
    The Real Meaning of Thanksgiving, Joseph Farah
    The Plymouth Experiment, Kim Weissman
    The Truth about Thanksgiving and Free Markets, Richard J. Maybury

    Update: I left out this great column by new World Net Daily columnist Cassandra Walker:
    Don't Wait to be Thankful
    You can also visit her website at

    From FreeRepublic: Happy Thanksgiving to You and Yours

    From the Illinois Leader: Immigrant Religious Extremist Group Signs Manifesto (1620)

    From Rush Limbaugh: An Undoctored History Lesson About Thanksgiving
    And, from last Wednesday's show: The Real Story of Thanksgiving

    From National Review Online...
    What We We're Thankful For: An NRO Thanksgiving Symposium

    From the Blogosphere:
    - The latest from The Corner, the blog of National Review magazine.
    - R.W. has temporarily taken over posting at Josh Claybourn's blog; Check out their posts...
    - And of course, see what the students at Hoosier Review are saying.
    - Speaking of those HR guys, I am thankful that good people like Paul Musgrave are defending our country. See what Paul is thankful for here.
    - Kevin Holtsberry writes about his famous baked brie. I wish I could try some.
    - Like several other collegiate bloggers, Bo Cowgill at Stanford is also traveling. Check out his nice site design.
    - Jeffrey Collins of the Joyful Christian blog is going to be out of town until Dec. 7. (A lot seems to be happening on that day; it's also the date of the exciting U.S. Senate runoff in Louisiana.) He may be blogging in the meantime, but he also wishes everyone a great Thanksgiving - As do I.

    From 1650: History of Plymouth Plantation, William Bradford

    And also:

    Best Food Flicks

    National Review Online covers movies on food.

    Please note: When I provide links to articles and web pages, I am not necessarily endorsing their content.

    Tuesday, November 26, 2002

    War Watch
    Is Bush Backing Off on the Iraq Attack?
    Conservative columnist Bob Novak has caused a great deal of speculation and controversy with his latest column, in which he suggests that the Bush Administration may be turning away from the neocon agenda, and leaning against and invasion of Iraq. Now, some commentators - conservative and liberal - are suggesting that we may not be going to war after all. Traditional conservatives and libertarians must be very hopeful about this; Colin Powell seems to be making a comeback, after having being marginalized by neoconservatives such as Richard Perle and Paul Wolfowitz.

    On November 14, these two editorials were featured on USA Today... They are supposed to offer opposing viewpoints, but there is some concurrence.

    USA Today editorial: Fractured Bosnia offers U.S. cautionary tale on Iraq
    Pat Buchanan OP-ED: U.S. is not wanted in Iraq

    An article from yesterday from the nearby paper The Peoria Journal Star:
    Experts Doubt Intervention Will Bring Democracy to Iraq

    Here are some current columns on war and freedom from a conservative perspective:

    Homeland Security: Largest Gov't Expansion in 50 Years, Congressman Ron Paul (R-TX)
    The Oval Office Liars Club, Robert Higgs, Independent Institute
    Homeland, Schmomeland, Charley Reese
    CATO and Heritage Foundation Wrong on Freedom, Paul Craig Roberts
    Looking for War with Iraq, Sheldon Richman, Future of Freedom Foundation
    First base, First!, Col. David Hackworth, Soldiers for the Truth
    Lost Treasure, America, Dave Franklin
    Developing the Capability to Build Dossiers on All Americans, Doug Thompson, Capitol Hill Blue
    Welcome to the American Gestapo, Doug Thompson, Capitol Hill Blue
    Gulf War Vets Still Ill and Ignored, Florida Today
    Bush's Strategy Digs U.S. Into Bottomless Hole, Steve Chapman, Chicago Tribune
    The Korean Contradiciton, The American Conservative
    Bush and Co. are not Conservatives - But some real conservatives oppose these statists, Guerilla News Network
    The Impossible War, Lew Rockwell
    War, Freedom, and American Conservatism, Lew Rockwell, Mises Institute

    Monday, November 25, 2002


    (AP Photo)
    First Daughters Turn 21!

    (I guess this means they're legal now... No more run-ins...)

    I wrote this post about a week ago, on Saturday, October 16.
    (I know, I know, I'm really late... That seems to be happening a lot lately...)

    From Patrick Carver's Ole Miss Conservative:

    Senate votes for pay raise

    The way things work in the Senate is that there is a automatic "cost of living" pay increase and in order to stop it, there must be a vote to block it. But Sen. Russ Feingold's (D-WI) motion to block the pay hike was voted down 58-36-6.

    With the slumping economy and financial markets, job layoffs and federal budget deficits, "this is the wrong time for Congress to give itself a pay hike," Feingold said in a statement.

    My comments on Patrick's post:

    This summer, didn't the House vote to give themselves a pay raise? (Or was it both the House and Senate that did that?) It was the fourth pay raise in as many years. Meanwhile, the Democrats (as well as the Socialists - such as Bernie Sanders of VT) tell us that we should never have lowered taxes.

    This would be a good issue to use against Congress when they try to raise our taxes next time... You guys raise your salaries using our tax dollars, and then ask us for more?

    Before thinking about raising taxes, why not cut everything there that isn't necessary first? For example, why not terminate the lavish pensions and perks that members of Congress receive?

    Let's see how they react to that... ;-)

    Tuesday, November 19, 2002

    I wrote this post last Thursday (November 14th):

    Liberty Watch

    War vs. Freedom? - This is part of a debate on the great, new TechCentralStation conservative website.

    In related news, I sadly just found out something terrible:

    House passes "Homeland Security" bill

    This is the bill to create the new Department of Homeland Security. As a conservative, it is so sad for me to see that only 6 Republicans in the House voted against this bill (the same number that voted against the unconstitutional Iraq war resolution). See the roll call here for this bill, H.R. 5710.

    It is refreshing to see, however, that even some of my fellow conservative bloggers and commentators who disagree with me on the Iraq war agree with me on this issue. I remember being glad to see Josh Claybourn's post on October 3rd on this topic, in which he linked to his column on the same subject. Brilliant 13-year-old columnist Kyle Williams also deals with this topic in his July 20th column. [Update: Kyle's latest column is also on this subject...]

    Do Bush supporters realize that this department, if created, would still be around after Bush leaves office? I wonder how the Republicans would have reacted if President Clinton (or Al Gore) were to propose an identical version of what Bushy-boy is proposing... Well, that could be said about many things, actually; our current "Republican" president seems to be getting away with a lot of things that would never have been allowed had he had a "D" next to his name.

    To find out more on why this new bureacratic agency is a bad idea, go here, here, here, here, or here.

    I wrote this post last Friday (November 15th):

    I thought Larry Elder was a conservative libertarian.

    Many people have read Larry Elder's columns, as well as his famous book, The Ten Things You Can't Say in America. Elder has long been considered a conservative/libertarian columnist.

    Larry Elder, along with conservatives, libertarians, and liberals, opposed Bill Clinton's illegal war in Kosovo. In the last presidential election, recognizing George W. Bush's support of Big Government, Elder decided to "waste his vote" on Harry Browne. Larry Elder also had a good column on September 27th blasting Bush's ultra-liberal education proposals.

    However, in Larry's latest column on Nancy Pelosi, he surprises me. He criticizes Nancy Pelosi for being too anti-war. However, during the Clinton Administration, Nancy Pelosi was pro-war, while the Republicans were leading the antiwar movement. In fact, in the 1996 elections, the Republican Party nominated the now-famous conservative libertarian author and columnist Justin Raimondo [see his campaign site here], the editorial director of, the conservative/libertarian, Old Right website against intervention. (See my comments on this in response to a post at the Old Miss Conservative blog.) Yes, those were different wars; however, many conservatives (and libertarians) also opposed the first Gulf War (including paleo-conservatives Pat Buchanan, Joe Sobran, and Sam Francis, conservative movement leader Russell Kirk, the Constitution Party's William K. Shearer, Christopher Layne of the CATO Institute, consitutionalist Congressman Ron Paul (R-TX), the John Birch Society, and others...). In addition, Larry Elder seems to criticize Nancy Pelosi for opposing the new bureacratic "Department of Homeland Security." (For information on that, see my previous post above.) Then again, I see that in his column, Elder is criticizing the reasons for which Nancy Pelosi and the liberals opposed this agency (union and labor-related concerns); maybe Elder also opposes this new department, but for the right reasons, like other conservatives and libertarians do. I will have to look that up. Many of Elder's criticisms of Pelosi are legitimate though, and the current points being made by conservatives - that Pelosi's liberalism is going to make the Democratic Party look bad - will likely turn out to be true. The Dems would have been much better off choosing more moderate Congressman Harold Ford, Jr. (D-TN), who is a member of the Congressional Blue Dog Coalition, instead.

    Update: From Jenn Gray's blog (*Girl on the Right*), I found this Washington Times editorial from last week that has a good summary of Pelosi's liberal voting record and views. I wish though, that I could strike from this article the last sentence from paragraph 7 (on the unconstitutional NAFTA, WTO, and "fast-track" agreements), as well as paragraph 8 (on war). But alas, the Times does not ask me to edit their editorials.

    Friday, November 15, 2002

    Blogger Problems... Again

    Last night, I spent a great deal of time online, communicating with other bloggers, trying to resolve some archiving problems. The problem that I had been having was that, on the left side of my blog, where it listed the archive dates, it was listing only every other week; it was skipping weeks.
    For example, it listed:
    09/15/2002 - 09/21/2002
    10/13/2002 - 10/19/2002
    10/27/2002 - 11/02/2002

    My archive pages for [9/22/2002 - 9/28/2002] and [10/06/2002 - 10/12/2002] do exist, but they are not listed on the side of my index page with the other archives. Worse yet, they are not listed when I go to edit my blog, so there is no way that I can update the posts on those pages for my archives. For example, my conservative anti-war post of October 10th was updated several times after I posted it. But the only way that someone can see the entire, updated post, is to go to my index page and scroll down. The permalink to that post contains the older version of the post, which contains some errors, and lacks the updates.

    I tried to fix the problem last night, but it doesn't seem to have worked. I think the only way to save those posts for my archive is to retype them, and repost them now. Below are my two posts from October 10th.

    Re-Post of my entry from October 10th:

    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.

    Re-Post of my 2nd entry from October 10th:

    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.

    Wednesday, November 13, 2002

    Notes on Veterans Day:

    Honoring our Military Veterans - latest column by Congressman Ron Paul

    Specialist Michael New's Red, White, and Blue Battalion
    Veterans Stand with Spc. Michael New;
    "Real Americans Don't Wear U.N. Blue!"

    American Gulf War Veterans Association:

    Soldiers for the Truth:

    Col. David Hackworth:

    Veterans for Common Sense: Home Page

    National Gulf War Resource Center: Home Page

    Major Sonnie Bates:

    I'll put more stuff related to Veterans Day here soon... Right now, I have an essay to write for my POS class (Intro to Comparitive and International Politics). The essay question?
    The authors of your textbook advanced the following proposition: The delay in intervention by the international community in the Bosnian civil war, advertently or inadvertently, allowed for favorable conditions to emerge that paved the way for peace, stability, and the emergence of a consociational, or ethnic power sharing, electoral democracy. Discuss and critique this proposition. In your conclusion explore the prospects for the Bosnian government, notwithstanding peacemakers, that might either result in its further fragmentation or its consolidation as a stable consociational democracy.

    I'm not sure what to say about the first part of that question (or the second part, for that matter). I am anti-interventionist in general (from a conservative perspective - scroll down for my October 10th post), but I don't know if the above proposition is true.

    Below are some interesting articles on Bosnia...
    CNN: Background and Information
    Bosnia, Haiti, and How Not To Conduct a Foreign Policy, Don Feder, 12/18/97
    The Policeman of the Balkans, Pat Buchanan, 12/22/97
    America Has No Business in Bosnia, Phyllis Schlafly, 1/96
    Justin Raimondo for Congress: Pelosi Confronted on Bosnia vote, 11/30/95
    America, Keep Out of Bosnia! People in plush offices are thirsting for blood, which our youth will have to supply. Why? - Murray Rothbard, 8/1/92

    And, more recently:
    Bosnia Revisisted: 10 Years On, Nebojsa Malic, 4/4/02
    The Balkans Quagmire, Joseph Farah, 8/13/01
    U.S. Should Get Out of the Balkans, John Dougherty, 6/28/01
    Playing NATO Poker in the Balkans, Daniel McAdams, 3/30/01
    Yugoslavia and Afghanistan - How to Understand Media Spin, John Keller, 11/02/01

    Gotta write the essay!... More on Veterans Day later...

    Monday, November 11, 2002


    University Blog salutes all American veterans for their great service to our nation and its citizens... We must never forget the courage, sacrifice, and patriotism of our American heroes.

    **** God bless all current and past military personnel!! ****

    The full Election 2002 results can be found here at CNN's AllPolitics. Also at that site is this interesting story on the young Tim Ryan, a 29-year-old (hopefully conservative) Democrat who won the Congressional seat of James Traficant, who was expelled from Congress after being convicted of crimes. Traficant ran from prison to get his seat back, but only received 15.15% of the vote. Too bad, Traficant was one of the best Democrats in the House of Representatives, and was correct on so many issues. Anyway, that article says that another 29-year-old, Republican Devin Nunes of North Carolina, was elected last Tuesday as well. The youngest member of Congress is 28-year-old U.S. Rep. Adam Putnam (R-FL), who ran unopposed for re-election. We need more young Republicans (and others) to run for high-level offices... and win! I wonder how old I will be when I get elected to the U.S. House of Representatives...

    On the home front, Senator Pat O'Malley (R) summed it up well when he says, "The Democrats may now be steering the ship, but they have no wind in their sails." (Currently, the featured quote at the Illinois Leader.) Karen Hayes, in her letter to the Leader, says that it is time to "re-crown" Senator O'Malley - "His steadfast Republican convictions and clear, focused vision for Illinois apparently upset parts of the entrenched Republican guard’s apple cart," she says, but "O'Malley's foresight, ability, and courage is vital to begin the massive party restoration." I agree wholeheartedly. If someone like Senator O'Malley was made to lead the Illinois Republican Party, that would really start the recovery process in the right direction and steer things in the right direction. Whether the GOP Establishment let that happen? Well, sometimes things things have to get very bad before they can become good. We will have to wait and see what happens.

    Update: J.C. Coleman writes, in his letter to the Illinois Leader, that we need to elect Senator Pat O'Malley, not "crown" him. Good point. Mr. Coleman points out that the major thing that is wrong with the current GOP leadership is that "...sense of entitlement that is manifest in the self-dealing, corrupt practices of what has been termed the 'Bi-Partisan Combine'..." The new leadership, he writes, "must purge these practices from the party and work to instill a new morality, one that would make Abraham Lincoln proud to be associated with twenty-first century Republicans." Very well said, Mr. Coleman.

    Here is some more election coverage and analysis:

    Human Events Magazine election notes:
    Conservative Issues Worked Well for the GOP, Joseph D'Agostino
    Year of the Conservative: This House may be more conservative than the one elected in 1994, David Freddoso
    Bill Simon should have won (and could have, had he run a better campaign), John Gizzi
    More from Human Events here...

    Jim Talent's victory gives Republicans immediate control of Senate, The Hill
    Large Voter Turnout Was Key to GOP Victories, The Hill
    Black Republicans make mark in elections, Washington Times
    Ultra-liberal Republican Connie Morella finally defeated this time, Washington Times
    Ehrilch defeats Kennedy for Maryland governorship in stunning upset, Washington Times

    Dick Morris on Election 2002, National Review
    Election 2002: It's No Big Deal, Zach Wendling, Hoosier Review
    The Right Stuff: What the Republicans Must Do Now, Bill O'Reilly - great column!
    Republicans In Charge - Now What?, Dr. Chuck Baldwin
    Political Greed: Kyle Williams on the current state of American politics (Happy 14th B-Day, Kyle!!) - another great column!
    The State of American Politics, 2002, Pat Buchanan
    Huge Victory for President Bush and the GOP, Bob Novak
    Did a particular ethnic strategy work for the GOP?, Steve Sailer - interesting...
    The People Have Spoken, Armstrong Williams

    Update: I just found out that brilliant columnist Kyle Williams is still only 13-years old (above, I wished him Happy 14th... In his latest column, listed above, the WND ending paragraph said that he was 14.) Many people (including myself) have found it amazing how someone at that age could write columns so insighful, educational, and professional. I did not get my first column published until I was 17; even then, my writings were not as good as Kyle's.

    See Kyle's blog here, and his column archive here. According to his latest blog post, Kyle has just finished a book - I can't wait to buy it. Keep up the great work, Kyle!

    Thursday, November 07, 2002

    Post-Election Analysis and Updates...

    I am sorry that I was not able to update this blog right up through the election, as I would have liked to. (On Monday, I actually received an unbelievable 46 hits! - up from just 6 the previous day.) After blitzing for Rich Brauer on Saturday and seeing President Bush speak on Sunday, I caught something and became somewhat sick. It was terrible being ill on Election Day, and also having a difficult paper for class due then as well.

    Anyway, as everyone has heard by now, the Republicans did well at the local level, terrible at the state level, and terrific at the national level. Out of the three candidates who I volunteered for - Rich Brauer (for State Representative), Joe Birkett (for Attorney General), and John Shimkus (for U.S. Congress), only Birkett lost. I should be thrilled about this, considering that this is the first time that a candidate who I've worked for and supported has actually won the election.

    Anyway, things should settle down somewhat for myself and those others of us who were so involved in Election 2002. Congratulations to Patrick Ruffini for helping Jim Talent defeat incumbent Senator Jean Carnahan for a U.S. Senate seat pick-up - Also check out Patrick's thorough and insightful post-election research and analysis. And see the reaction to the election from Christian bloggers at the Blogs4God site here. The Hoosier Review writers have also posted their thoughts at their well-known blog.

    I will have links to election results, more news, editorials, and analysis posted here soon. Congratulations to all candidates, campaign workers, and volunteers who worked hard this year.