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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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    Qassia: Aakash Raut

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    Monday, March 31, 2003

    Before it's over...

    In honor of Women's History Month

    Republicans Honor Women's History Month
    Republican Women: A History of Leadership
    An RNC publication from 1995 (back when the GOP leadership and website were much better than they are now...)

    Some time ago, Illinigirl and Josh Claybourn gave their listings of the women of the 20th century whom they admire most. (Earlier, several bloggers had given their listings of the most-admired men of the century.) I may update this post with some information on the American women whom I admire most; till then, here are some good resources on some 'right' women:

    Stand Up Girl
    Feminists for Life
    Concerned Women for America
    Independent Women's Forum
    Ladies Against Feminism - new
    Second Amendment Sisters

    [Note: I am not necessarily endorsing the content of the sites linked to from any of my blog entries.]

    Some bloggers and columnists:
    Izzy Lyman
    Illinigirl (Jennifer Brower) (Devvy Kidd)
    Buried Treasure (Carmon Friedrich) - new
    The Flagship Log (Dorothy Anne Seese)
    The Alden Chronicles (Diane Alden) (Lucianne Goldberg)
    The Dynamist (Virginia Postrel)
    Carolyn Gargaro
    Cassandra Walker
    Lee Anne Millinger
    The BadgerMum - new
    Natalie Solent
    Adrianne Truett
    Rachel Lucas
    Karen DeCoster
    Wendy McElroy

    Michelle Malkin [home page]
    Phyllis Schlafly
    Maggie Gallagher
    Elizabeth Wright
    Stella Jatras
    Jane Chastain [home page]
    Linda Bowles
    Georgie Anne Geyer [home page]
    Arianna Huffington [home page]
    Ilana Mercer [home page]
    Dorothy Anne Seese [home page]
    Devvy Kidd [home page]
    Julie Foster
    Ann Coulter [home page]
    Linda Chavez [home page]
    Wendy McElroy [home page]
    Dr. Laura Schlessinger [home page]
    Star Parker [home page]
    Kathleen Parker
    Camille Paglia
    Kate O'Beirne
    Lt. Col. Karen Kwiatkowski
    Florence King
    Linda Schrock Taylor

    Current and former public figures:
    U.S. Rep. Melissa Hart
    U.S. Rep. Marsha Blackburn
    U.S. Rep. Marilyn Musgrave
    U.S. Rep. Barbara Cubin
    U.S. Rep. Mary Bono
    U.S. Rep. Jo Ann Emerson
    U.S. Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison
    U.S. Sen. Lisa Murkowski

    Former U.S. Rep. Helen Chenoweth-Hage
    Former U.S. Rep. Linda Smith
    Former U.S. Rep. Helen Delich Bentley
    Former U.S. Rep. Pat Danner
    Former U.S. Senator/U.S. Rep. Margaret Chase Smith
    Former U.S. Rep. Clare Booth Luce

    And, of course, a special tribute to these women:
    Linda Tripp
    Lucianne Goldberg
    Kathleen Willey
    Elizabeth Ward Gracen
    Susan Carpenter-McMillan

    ERA, all over again...

    The great Phyllis Schlafly... right here in Springfield, Illinois!

    As some readers, may have heard in the news, ERA, the "Equal Rights Amendment," is (very unfortunately) back... I wasn't around during the last battle, but I've heard about it; it must have been a very lively, intense, and emotional struggle for all involved. The reknowned Phyllis Schlafly is credited with almost single-handedly leading the fight against this monstrous proposal, and ultimately causing its resounding defeat.

    On Friday, there was a great anti-ERA rally at the State Capitol here. Many people came to support this cause, and for the first time, I got a chance to meet Mrs. Schlafly. See the current home page of the Eagle Forum, the organization that has been "leading the pro-family movement since 1972."

    From the Illinois Leader: Photos from Friday's rally
    From the Eagle Forum: ERA Information
    From the Eagle Forum of IL: ERA Alert

    No way, ERA! --------------

    More on this to be added soon...

    Updates: The bill that has been proposed in our state's General Assembly (for the ratification of this amendment) is HJRCA1. From the website of the Illinois Federation for Right to Life: Info on HJRCA1

    Wednesday, March 26, 2003

    Post for Monday, March 24:

    Well, Spring Break is over, and school has begun again. And so has the war. I had been wanting to post updates about the war, but this is the first time that I am blogging since it began last Wednesday (March 19th).

    I definitely wanted to say some things about the start of this war. It is important now that all of us - whether we have supported the idea of going to war with Iraq, or whether we have opposed it - stand behind our brave and heroic troops 100%, and pray for their security, their fortitude and faith, and their safe and speedy return after a successful mission abroad.

    Below are some online resources with ways in which you can help support our troops:

    Operation Military Pride
    (Adopt a Soldier - Send Care Packages)

    USO Care Packages

    Send a virtual 'Thank You' card!

    Operation Uplink

    Operation Dear Abby

    Locate the VA facility nearest you... Now is the time to volunteer.

    More information on how you can support our troops is available here from DefenseWatch (Soldiers for the Truth).

    Ryangate continues...

    The jury in the trial of Scott Fawell and the Citizens for [George] Ryan (CFR) campaign committee has found the defendants guilty on all counts. See the news article in the Illinois Leader on this...

    More on this case:

    From CNN: Fawell, campaign committee found guilty
    USAE News: First time in history this has happened...
    NBC 5: Fawell: Guilty on All Counts

    WBBM: Is this a step towards the indictment of George Ryan?
    St. Louis Post Dispatch: Jurors speak out on the case
    ABC7: Jurors never bought the "politics as usual" defense

    CBS 2: Fawell verdict could launch political reforms
    Bloomington Pantagraph: ....Or will it?


    The Party of Scandal in Illinois

    I should have included this in this entry earlier. Back before last fall's elections, a web page had been created about politics and scandal in Illinois over past years. (It was inspired by a document written and released by the IL Republican Party, but this web page is also different from the state party's document.)

    Putting Things in Perspective
    Which Illinois political party has really been waving the banner of criminal behavior?


    Fighting Illini

    I don't usually keep up much with March Madness and College Basketball, but ever since I began attending the University of Illinois schools, I have been a fan of the Fighting Illini. It was disappointing to hear about their recent loss to Notre Dame (60-68). (It must have been a very un-PC game - the 'Fighting Illini' vs. the 'Fighting Irish'.) Illinigirl has some good comments and info on this. She also has another entry with a link to a virtual competition among bloggers regarding the NCAA. I won't be participating in that (I'm currently participating in Josh Claybourn's Fantasy Baseball league, and am getting ready for the season to commence), but if anyone is interested, and if that is still open, it could be fun.

    Illini links:

    Fighting Illini
    Illini Pride
    Orange and Blue News
    Orange Krush
    Honor the Chief Society
    Chief Illiniwek Education Foundation (C.H.I.E.F.)

    Monday, March 17, 2003

    Happy Saint Patrick's Day!!

    Happy St. Patrick's Day to everyone!! I participated in the Saint Patrick's Day Parade again this year, this time for my new state representative. I was remembering the first time I marched in a parade for a candidate - it was last year's Saint Patrick's Day Parade, and I was with supporters of Patrick O'Malley for Governor. One of the people who marched with us was Erika Harold, who was the campaign's Youth Coordinator. We were all very excited when we found out last summer that Erika had won the title of Miss Illinois. On the day before the Miss America Pageant, I posted this entry telling everyone to watch as Erika was [hopefully!] crowned Miss America. And sure enough, it happened!!

    The Power of Prayer
    One of my fellow students and O'Malley supporters, Julie Wagner, wrote this letter to the Illinois Leader about Erika's victory. I agree that God has blessed Erika, and has been with her, while helping her to perform her best, and helping her to fulfill her role with humility, dignity, and courage.

    Following Erika's victory, it was revealed that the Pageant leaders had pressured her not to talk about her key platform issue - teen abstinence (all the contestants were required to have a platform issue; Erika's original one was the promotion of abstinence, but she was reportedly pressured to change it by the Pageant officials). Erika stood her ground, however, and eventually, they agreed to allow her to speak the truth. Erika has done work with Project Reality, an organization that promotes abstinence among youth.

    Some time ago, I had mentioned a problem with the program that I had been experiencing. Because of that bug, an entry that I had posted a couple weeks after the Miss America pageant (about how Erika had bravely withstood the pressure from the PC groups and pageant officials to promote this important issue) disappeared from my blog archives. I had been wanting a good opportunity to re-post it, and now seems appropriate. See a re-post of that entry from October 12th below.

    And to those students who still have mid-terms, best of luck!! (I just finished a big exam today, and I still have one for tomorrow... and I'm supposed to be on Spring Break! ;)

    Re-post of entry from 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.

    Monday, March 10, 2003

    College Conservatives
    Before I left for the convention (see my last entry), I was going to post some of the following:

    In a comment post on Owen Courreges' blog, I wrote something about the differing views of college conservatives and Republicans with respect to a war with Iraq. (See the comments here by scrolling down to the bottom of the list.) Adrianne Truett shared on that discussion board that the conservatives at Harvard were also divided on this issue; she provided a link to The Harvard Salient, their "semi-conservative" student newspaper. After those comment posts, Owen posted an entry entitled "Taking on the anti-war Right" - it contains a response to this article by Salient editor Gladden J. Pappin.

    Here are some viewpoints on war from college conservatives (and other non-leftists):

    Weapons of Mass Deception - How the Gov't Scares Us Into War, Bill Barnwell [Barnwell archives]
    White House Spins Axis of Evil, Stephen Beale [Beale archives]
    A Crash Course for College Conservatives, Daniel McCarthy (2002 article) [McCarthy archives]
    Remember, We're in a War, Rachel Anne Fajardo (2001 article) [Fajardo archives]
    An Argument Against the Coming Iraq War, Kevin Vallier
    Letter to a Middle-Aged Neocon, Marcus Epstein [Epstein archives] - new!
    The Illegitimacy of the Second Gulf War, Pieter Friedrich [Friedrich home page] - new!
    From the Front, Mike Ewens
    An Open Letter to President Bush, Jeremy Loscheider

    New article by Bill Barnwell: The Battle for Geopolitical Domination
    (Bill is a well-known college conservative, and was one of the founders of and

    NOTE: As I have said in previous posts: External links to articles and web pages from this blog are intended for reference and debate purposes only; I am not necessarily endorsing or agreeing with the viewpoints and the content of web pages that are linked to from this site. (In some cases, I haven't even had a chance to read through all of the pages.)

    More on Republicans
    I had earlier come across this news report about Jack Walters, the Chairman of the Republican Party of Boone County, Missouri. I especially liked this quote at the end of the article:

    Boone County GOP Chairman under fire for anti-war stance
    "Not everybody who is opposed to the war is over on the left wing. It goes beyond the loony left and the usual suspects. There's a broad spectrum of opposition."
    - William Samuels, former GOP committee member

    The other day, I found out that Mr. Walters is resigning his position as Boone County GOP Chairman in protest of the potential Iraq war. His statement of resignation has been posted on the web. And there is even an online petition that has started to correspond with this: Republicans Against War in Iraq. I don't think I'm going to sign, since it's at a Democratic site; it already has 54 signatures, though...

    Update: A Letter to the Editor for Mr. Walters on this issue.

    And speaking of war and resignations, the latest post at Hoosier Review is an interesting comment about this subject.

    More on these issues, and other topics, will be posted soon. For now, good luck to all who have mid-terms this week...

    This is a good column that I had missed. I wish I had noticed it earlier, since it is by Tom Roeser, a well-known and distinguished Illinois conservative with his own radio show.

    Chicago Sun-Times, March 15th: Warmongers have hijacked the GOP

    And here is something from Washington University in St. Louis, home of college conservatives who are in tune with the Old Right:

    Photos and coverage: Conservative/libertarian students rally against war...

    Also check out the website of a student organization at I don't agree with some of their stances, but it looks like a cool group.

    Back from the Convention...

    I just got back last night from the annual Illinois College Republican Federation convention in Urbana-Champaign. I was going to post something about that before I left... Anyway, I will soon update this post with more information regarding this.

    In the meantime, you might want to check out the websites that I'm always visiting (I spend way too much time on the computer...):
    Illinois Leader
    Jewish World Review
    Hoosier Review
    Washington Times
    Drudge Report

    What I'm probably watching or listening to:
    Law and Order - Murder, She Wrote - Touched By An Angel
    A & E - PAX TV
    CNN - MSNBC - TV 20 - C-SPAN

    Also, my previous article, containing answers to the widely-circulated "Questions that Won't Be Asked About Iraq" by Congressman Ron Paul (R-TX), is posted here.

    And no, I did not get drunk at the convention (though, considering that it was in Urbana-Champaign (CampusTown!), many other CRs did). The new website of College Republicans there is pretty good. Check it out... The Orange and Blue Observer (the school's conservative paper) has a new site also.

    Also, congratulations to the newly-elected officers of the ICRF!!

    Let's make this year great, and help take back Illinois...

    Once again - To all who ran for office and participated in the convention, congrats on a job well done.

    Wednesday, March 05, 2003

    An American Soldier Bids Farewell

    Greg Pulver is going off to war. Please visit his site,, and leave him a comment at his latest blog entry. Let's keep Greg in our prayers as he goes overseas to defend our great nation.

    See Josh's post about Greg also. God Bless you Greg, and may you be safe always!!

    American Minute with Bill Federer
    March 5th

    On this day, March 5, in the year 1770, the Boston Massacre took place. The British had been forcing Colonists to house their soldiers. A crowd had gathered to protest and in the confusion British soldiers fired into the mob, killing five of them. On the 4th anniversary of the Massacre, in 1774, John Hancock, who would later become famous for being the first to sign the Declaration of Independence, stated: "Let us play the man for...the cities of our GOD. While we are using the means in our power, let us humbly commit our righteous cause to the great LORD of the Universe."

    (American Minute with Bill Federer -

    Read John Hancock's complete Boston Massacre Oration, from March 5, 1774 (the fourth anniversary), here.

    Paul Revere's Famous Engraving

    "The Bloody Massacre perpetrated in King Street"
    Find out more about it here, from the Boston Massacre Historical Society. (Image taken from that site.)

    Monday, March 03, 2003

    On the Europeans


    Much has been made of the refusal of some European countries (namely, France and Germany) to join the war coalition against Iraq, and of the agreement of several other European nations (U.K., Poland, Hungary, Spain - see the 'honor roll' at the left sidebar of HokiePundit's blog) to do so. Many people, especially the neocon commentators, have released a barrage of harsh criticisms against the anti-war countries. There is actually an entire blog dedicated to "France bashing," and also see and At Aage's Pizza, the Danish owner refused to sell food to French and German customers. And at one North Carolina restaurant, the "french fries" are now called "freedom fries."

    But are the French, Germans (and the other countries who oppose the war) onto something?

    Francophobe Jonah Goldberg recently revealed something that he claims resulted from a Google search. (It was posted at National Review's Corner, then linked to from Hoosier Review and other blogs.) When he entered French military victories into Google, this is what Mr. Goldberg claims was the result. (Update: See correction below.) It would, in fact, be very amusing if this were true; however, I personally find this hard to believe. Google is known as the most powerful search engine, and when I enter that phrase, it shows more than 57,000 results. Even with "quotation marks" around the phrase, it still yields over 100 hits. (Though some of these hits may be for websites discussing this issue, many of the web pages that the query turns up were on the internet before this story started circulating.)

    UPDATE - Correction: When I wrote that above, I had tried to find a link to Jonah's pertinent post on The Corner. Because NR's search engine did not turn it up (the text of the search was actually not in his blog entry), however, I was not able to. I have now found it. (Thanks, Chris!) As it turns out, it wasn't Goldberg who entered that phrase into Google; it was sent to him by a reader. After he posted it, it was linked to from Hoosier Review, and has also appeared at several other places. (See it in actual full screen form here or here.) Apparently, even Geoff Metcalf, Neal Boortz, and Professor Volokh believed it. I was wondering earlier why no one had challenged this claim, and just accepted it as fact, but I just noticed that Brian Weatherson has provided a good analysis of this whole thing here and here.

    Here is something from the latest issue of The American Conservative:


    - Number of French dead in World War II through June 1940: 120,000
    - Number of American dead in Korean and Vietnam Wars combined: 95,000
    - Rhetorical value of the fiction of French cowardice: priceless

    (I guess there are somethings that money can't buy... For everything else, there are the lies of war.)

    Some insight on those darn Europeans:
    - The French are No Cowards (a history lesson) - new!
    - Vive la France! (Lafayette would agree...)
    - Learning from the School of Experience
    - The Anti-Europeans
    - Nuke France
    - Why the French behave as they do
    - Those Shameful French - new!
    - Why France is America's True Friend - new!

    Pro-War Commies?

    And here's something else. Several bloggers have commented on the influence of radical left-wingers, socialists, and communists in the anti-war movement. International A.N.S.W.E.R., which is connected to the Workers World Party, is one of the groups that is the subject of much of this criticism. The critics are are correct in stating that many of these types of people do appear to be the leaders in some of the organized protest against the war, and this is a very bad thing. These people are a huge embarrassment and a major liability to the anti-war cause. (It is because of this type of influence in the visible anti-war movement that this blog has been putting so much emphasis on the conservatives and libertarians who are opposing the war.)

    However, there is one thing that those critical of the anti-war movement are overlooking. While there are radical leftists, socialists, and communists in the anti-war movement, the pro-war movement has plenty of those guys too. And unlike the anti-war movement, the pro-war movement's commies and socialists actually hold positions of power and lead the governments of several European countries.

    In late January, the heads of state of eight European countries (Spain, Portugal, the U.K., the Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland, and Denmark ) signed a unity statement indicating support for a war with Iraq. Let's examine some of these people, and their backgrounds:

    Pro-War Reds

    "Ex"-Commies and socialists support a war with Iraq

    Leszek Miller, Prime Minister of Poland
    Slippery Pole

    Peter Medgyessy, Prime Minister of Hungary
    Pro-war eye for the commie spy...

    Tony Blair, Prime Minister of the United Kingdom
    Tony the Tyrant

    (Prime Ministers Miller, Medgyessy, and Blair all signed a pro-war unity statement in late January.)

    [Thanks to Justin Raimondo for providing some of this information, including links to relevant sources.]

    More information on the evils of Communism can be found by following these links, and at the site of the Victims of Communism Memorial Foundation. This article also has pertinent information - on "Communism's 100 Million Victims."

    Update: Check out Prof. Bryan Caplan's 'Museum of Communism'.