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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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    Monday, September 29, 2003

    Note: Though the idea and first line of this entry were conceived on Monday, Sept. 29th (as the entry is dated), this entry was first published two days ago (I think it was), on Tuesday, October 7th. So yes, I have posted a new entry this week (two actually - there is one below this one, that still needs to be worked on). I will try to keep this weblog updated regularly... and I have a series of new entries from a little while back, which still need to be posted. For those who frequently check this site, I wholeheartedly appreciate your readership, and will try not disappoint... Thanks!


    Yesterday was Gold Star Mothers' Day. On that day, our state honored the mothers of our fallen soldiers - those who have heroicly fought for our nation, in recent and past times. Lt. Gov. Pat Quinn honored the Gold Star Mothers on Sunday; I saw the coverage of this on the nightly TV 20 news. Along with Mr. Quinn, Elvin J. Carey, the Commander of the American Legion of Illinois, presented the Gold Stars to the mothers, who have lost sons or daughters in the recent wars in Afghanistan and Iraq:

    · Hazel Henry—Mother of Air Force Lieutenant Colonel John Stein [S.R. 0120]

    · Danuta Kowalik—Mother of Lance Corporal Jakub Kowalik

    · Teresa Clark—Mother of Lance Corporal Nicholas Kleiboeker

    · Sheryl Kleiboeker—Stepmother of Lance Corporal Nicholas Kleiboeker

    · Vicky Langley—Mother of Private Jonathan L. Gifford

    · Debbie Ramsey—Mother of Army Specialist Brandon Ramsey [Brandon Ramsey Memorial Fund]

    · Barbara Bush—Mother of Army Private Matthew Bush

    · Linda Pahnke—Mother of Army Private Shawn Pahnke

    · Connie Sue Bickers—Mother of Army Specialist Cory Hubbell

    · Ellen Thomas—Mother of Private First Class Adam Thomas

    · Ruby Lacy—Mother of Specialist Rachael Lacy

    · Cindy Sisson—Stepmother of Army Private First Class Christopher Sisson

    · Nancy Hollinsaid—Mother of Staff Sergeant Lincoln Hollinsaid

    · Marie Pokorny—Mother of Army Staff Sergeant Andrew R. Pokorny

    This article article from an Illinois newspaper has some information on all of this. And this section from the Illinois Times, published on September 11, 2003, is good as well.

    The national organization website for the Gold Star Mothers is at: www.goldstarsmoms.com.

    Check out this neat web page, with information on the "War Mother's Flag."

    This Operation Home Front page contains a listing of our state's fallen servicemen and women. Please see this page as well.

    This is page of photos was earlier published at the Illinois Leader, our state's leading conservative online publication:
    http://illinoisleader.com/photo/photoview.asp?p=104
    Illinois Leader honors the fallen soldiers based in Illinois.


    -----------------------------


    I have posted before, on this blog, and in comment posts at other blogs, a great story that was published on March 9, 2003, around the time of the start of the recent Iraq war.
    The Wall
    by Alfred A. Hambidge, Jr.

    While this powerful story had been published at several places on the web, that link above is to a page at the website of Col. David Hackworth, the famous American war hero and soldiers' advocate, who is known for having been decorated more times than anyone else alive today. "Hack" as he is called by many, is held in very high regard by many of our heroic veterans and current military personnel. Many people have have been reading Col. Hackworth's famous Defending America column for several years now; see the column archives here, at his website, here at World Net Daily, or here at Military.com (at Military.com, there are also message boards for discussing the columns.) Also check out the site of Soldiers for the Truth, a great pro-soldier organization that is headed by Col. Hackworth. Many active duty soldiers are sending in reports to SFTT and Col. Hackworth (the Colonel has been receiving about 500 e-mails per day from soldiers overseas), and some have been published at those websites, along with a lot of other information and commentary of interest to our military community, and to all Americans as well.


    Support our Troops
    Go here for my previous entry with links and information on military support sites and resources. We must continue to pray for our brave heroes, and never forget those who have given so much for our country in recent and earlier times. God bless all current and past military personnel, and their families.


    Hometown Heroes

    Many people know about the incident regarding Major William Umbach and Major Harry Schmidt, the two pilots who were based right here in Springfield. Check out Maj. Schmidt's website at HarrySchmidt.org; he has bravely decided to go through with a trial - to clear his name. (Harry and his great family attend my church, by the way.)

    Support Major Harry Schmidt


    Let us pray for Harry, and his family, and they deal with their situation. You can also print out and send a letter to your representative in support of Maj. Schmidt here, and go here to make a contribution to the legal defense fund.


    Update (10/15/03): I just saw this from my daily Prairie State Report e-mail:
    Illinois Guard Pilot's Family Asks for Congressional Help

    I might post more updates on Maj. Schmidt's case in this entry.



    This space is currently blank. If you check back soon, it likely won't be.

    In the meantime, check out what Sgt. Hook did for the ladies at Right We Are. I think I may try to find someone else on an Ecosystem classification borderline to help out that way. Maybe we could even form a 'Pay it Forward'-like chain...

    -------

    I recently came across this good guest editorial in the Illinois Leader, by Jacob Swain of Marion, IL. Though he is just 17 years old, Jacob has become a Republican precinct committeeman - which is a very, very important and powerful position to have. Check out the Illinois Leader news story on Jacob. And here's the news article from the Marion Daily Republican.

    Jacob also takes the time as a responsible citizen, even when he is too young to vote, to write Letters to the Editor in his local newspaper. (I wish I had the time, energy, and willingness to do that once in awhile.) A neat letter from Jacob was published in the Southern Illinoisian shortly before the November 2002 elections, in which Jacob writes about a county board race. And about a month earlier another letter of his on the elections was published in that paper - this one was on the Governor's race. Being a strong conservative, I would likely agree with Jacob's views on most issues, but I would have to respectfully disagree with the support of Republicans and some conservatives for people such as Jim Ryan. It was well known to the conservatives of Illinois that Jim Ryan was not one of us, and that the party Establishment had rallied behind an unprincpled candidate (a 'mushy moderate') in the attempt to win the governship, after the distasterous adminstration of R.I.N.O. Gov. George Ryan. (It is because of these types of things that conservatives in Illinois have been so frustrated with the state party leadership, and its actions.) The best candidate for Governor in our state's last election was former Republican State Rep. Cal Skinner, who ran in the general election as the Libertarian Party's nominee (in the primaries, the best candidate was the great then-State Sen. Patrick O'Malley). See this guest blog entry of mine at Pieter's 'Deux Ego,' which briefly mentions this topic.

    This type of nomination fixing and party Establishment control is the same thing that has happened in federal elections - such as those with the U.S. Senate, like when the Establishment pushed hard for the nomination of the liberal Loleta Didrickson over the more conservative Peter Fitzgerald in 1998 (Fitzgerald went on the win the nomination, and defeat the weak incumbent Democrat as well, to win the seat where he currently serves) - and for presidential elections as well. In 1996, the GOP Establishment was solidly behind, the boring, weak, and elderly Bob Dole (now a Viagra salesman), a moderate candidate whose poor showing in the GOP primaries, caucuses, and straw polls shocked the party aristocracy. Dole was on the verge of dropping out if he had done a little worse in Iowa and New Hampshire. (There is evidence that voter fraud and irregularities may have been responsible for the prevention of 1st-runner-up Pat Buchanan from winning Iowa and Arizona, which would likely have caused Dole to drop out, and Pat to have been the leading contender for the GOP nod.) And in the last presidential election, everybody knew that the GOP Establishment, eager to re-take the White House, and to avoid 'problems' from principled conservatives in the primaries, made sure that George W. Bush would get the nomination for President - that was decided early on. And those who have been paying attention to politics and current affairs within the past year should be aware of the growing conservative dissatisfaction with the current administration.


    Sunday, September 28, 2003

    Still busy...

    I wish I had my series of planned blog entries (which I've mentioned before) posted and published by now, but unfortunately, I do not; I should have had that done by now. I am currently working on some things with College Republicans - that should be set up and ready soon, though.

    For now, here are some things to look through, until I have more entries posted (which I should have done soon):

    At Pieter Friedrich's great 'Deux Ego' site, where I am temporarily the second blogger (until Jamie returns), I posted this entry last week, in which I re-blog, from an update to one of my entries below (this one), the promotion of Lt. Col. Buzz Patterson's latest bestselling book on former President Clinton. In the following entry at 'Deux Ego' however, I do another plug - this one for a great guy who I recently met online and conversed with. This entry, entitled "Another Plug," is currently about halfway down the 'Deux Ego' blog front page; the permalink is here.

    That entry is on Jason Wall, a prolific writer, a photographer, and a Christian, who is a very successful and amazing individual. Jason is also the editor of a 'A Blog Apart,' a great group weblog and publication. (Most of the authors of 'A Blog Apart' seem to be conservatives and Christians.) Take a look at that entry of mine featuring Jason and his work, and as I say there, you should also consider purchasing some of his great photo prints.

    I have also updated both my blogroll and the above-mentioned past entry with some more blogs. I very recently came across 'Dead Yet Living,' which seems like a great group blog, maintained by Christians. And I had previously been in contact with Jeff Watkins, one of the young men who runs the To Whom it May Concern blog, which is now also on my blogroll. Beautiful Feet, LadyDusk, The BadgerMum, Theognome, and Just Mark are other Christian blogs that now have links on the sidebar. (I recently found out that Theognome is actually married to Earth-Shattering Distinctives, who was nice enough to blogroll me earlier, and who is also blogrolled here, with her husband - see the "Even More Blogs" section, towards the bottom of the sidebar.) I had previously added RazorMouth to my sidebar, as well as Buried Treasure, the popular weblog of Mrs. Carmon Friedrich (Pieter's mom). And on the section of my sidebar with links to other [non-blog] websites, I added Chasing Hats, Boundless, and Hour Eleven, as well as several other sites.

    While I have been supporting, and continue to support, Tom McClintock in California's gubernatorial race, and have added a link to his campaign website in that links section of my sidebar, I have also added links to the campaign sites of immigration reform advocate and columnist Joe Guzzardi (read some of his columns here) and the beautiful young Brooke Adams, both of whom seem to be appealing candidates for governor of the Golden State. (And just for fun, why not check out the campaign sites of Gary Coleman and even Angelyne too? I just visited Larry Flynt's site, and it's actually not too bad. And I just found this site, for the campaign of college student Daniel Watts. Interesting! And Republican/Write-In candidate Jason Gastrich has a section of his campaign site with "recall songs." Way cool!) Two other California political activists and commentators also are now listed in that links section - radio host and small businessman Terry Anderson ('Terry from South Central') and AIP (California's CP affiliate) leader & conservative columnist Reed Heustis. Other personal websites added there include those of: conservative columnist and former U.S. Senate candidate Mark Dankof; 2002 GOP Congressional nominee David Sadler; pro-freedom, anti-tax leader Devvy Kidd; conservative author & columnist Fred Reed; conservative/libertarian columnist Ilana Mercer, and award-winning conservative columnist & novelist Rip Rense.

    Note: Jeff Watkins (mentioned two paragraphs above) of To Whom it May Concern has a list of books for sale that he is selling through Amazon.com. There are over 100 books there that Jeff is selling, covering several different topics and various types of subject material. These are used books, so the prices are relatively low. Take a look through those, and consider helping Jeff out. (You can also donate directly to him; go here for that.)

    Note 2: Chase Livingston, another one of the bloggers at To Whom it May Concern, also has an Amazon.com 'storefront' [here] at which he has more that 200 items for sale - many books and video games are available at his store; see the full listing here. In addition to being one of the bloggers at To Whom in May Concern, Chase has his own weblog as well.



    Antiwar Conservative

    As some of you may know, I had earlier copied and pasted my past entries from this blog on the topics of war and foreign policy into a separate blog:
    http://warconservative.blogspot.com

    The day before yesterday, I added to the sidebar on that blog, and it now contains some pertinent links and resources. The featured opinion piece on the sidebar there is the recent speech given by the great conservative U.S. Congressman John Duncan, Jr. (R-TN):

    There is Nothing Conservative About the U.S. Policy in Iraq
    (This was the Spotlight editorial on last Wednesday's edition of Antiwar.com.)


    Also see this recent article on Congressman Duncan's views regarding the request for funding in Iraq (other Republicans are questioning that enormous request as well) and the previous speech by Congressman Duncan entitled 'Leave Iraq to the Iraqis.' I had earlier updated a couple of my previous entries with the earlier great speech by the Congressman on why many conservatives opposed the war with Iraq.

    Updates: The great conservative columnist Lee R. Shelton IV has some great commentary and analysis of this whole situation at his latest blog entry:
    The High Cost of Compassionate Conservatism

    I will update this entry with some of Lee's great columns from the past, and also with some more views and news on these topics.

    Update (10/14/03) - Here they are:

    9/11/03 - The Difference Between Democrats and Republicans
    7/17/03 - Like Father, Like Son: Is Bush a One-Term President?
    5/08/03 - Some Post-War Questions for Concerned Americans
    4/17/03 - Bush's Support of Assault Weapons Ban Should Come as No Surprise
    4/10/03 - Who Will Be in Charge of Iraq's Rebuilding After the War?
    4/03/03 - War, Frum, and Neoconservative Hypocrisy
    3/20/03 - Freedom Fries, Freedom Toast, and other Feckless Folly
    3/06/03 - War with Iraq: Push for a New World Order?
    2/19/03 - France, Germany, and Belgium Deserve our Thanks
    1/08/03 - The GOP, a Party of Cowards
    9/18/02 - War is Sure; Justification is Not
    7/12/02 - Most Reactions to the Controversial Pledge Ruling Have Missed the Point
    5/08/02 - Let's Hear Nothing of a "Draft" Unless We're Talking about Beer
    3/20/02 - Neocon Statists Accuse Dissenters of Being "Anti-American"
    1/02/02 - Are There Any True Patriots Left in America?



    Things here and there...

    My class went okay - it is kind of fun having a class on the weekend - This is the first time that I have had a class on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday. The first exam of the semester, which I had last Tuesday, seemed to go okay... though I may not have done too well on it; I should find out soon. On Wednesday, there was a great College Republicans meeting; it looks like we're going to have a great year - and accomplish many significant things. I am the 1st-Vice Chairman of the club, and I'll be busy with club business for the next few days. I will hopefully have more time for writing and blogging after that.


    Saturday, September 20, 2003

    Busy, busy, busy...

    I had thought that I should post a note here, about my busy schedule for the few days. This weekend, I actually have... a class! This course meets on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday; fortunately, though, it meets a total of only 3 weekends during this term. Our first meeting was yesterday, and then I was there for all day today. I will, amazingly, also have to go for all day tomorrow.

    Going to class on the weekend is kind of interesting... I am definitely glad, though, that we only have to do this three times this semester. Also, my first exam for this term will be on Tuesday. And I really need to study. So until I get a chance to post again (probably some time late next week) please look through my past entries here - as well as my past entries at Pieter's blog - and look through the blogroll at the left, as well. (Note: Though the blogroll is on left, most of the blogs listed there are actually on the Right... ;-)



    ERIKA!
    Once more
    ....

    Those who have been reading my blog since it began about one year ago (I should have had a 'blog birthday' entry, like so many others have done...) know that one of my first major entries was about Erika Harold. For those of you who don't recognize that name (and you should... ;-), Erika is a beautiful, talented, intelligent, and friendly young lady, who I had the pleasure of meeting and working with when she was the Youth Coordinator of the Republican primary campaign of Patrick O'Malley for Governor. Erika is a brilliant, successful, and nice woman, and she is also a strong conservative, and a Christian. Oh yeah, one more thing - Erika is also... Miss America!!
    :-)


    On the day before the Miss America pageant last year, 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.


    She could not be silenced...

    Those of us who knew and had worked with Erika were all very excited when we found out that summer (2002) that she had won the title of Miss Illinois. All Miss Illinois and Miss America contestants were actually required to have an issue platform - to focus on some key issue or cause that they cared about, and wished to promote. Erika's platform issue had been the promotion of teen abstinence. Erika has done work with Project Reality, an organization that promotes abstinence among youth.

    However, at the time of the pageant, many of us were confused when it became clear that Erika's platform had now changed to youth violence. What happened? Had Erika chosen to drop her orginal issue for some reason? Why was she no longer using her great platform?

    Following Erika's victory, it was revealed that the Pageant leaders had pressured her not to talk about her key platform issue (as mentioned above, all the contestants were required to have a key issue they were advocating; Erika's original one was the promotion of abstinence, but she was reportedly pressured to change it by the Pageant officials). After being crowned Miss America (after she had been forced to change her platform for the pageant), however, Erika stood her ground. Though she was pressured not to promote abstinence once she became Miss America, Erika made clear that she was willing to risk losing the position she had just won in order to be able to speak out on this issue and promote her conservative values. Eventually, they agreed to permit Erika to speak the truth.

    For more information on Erika, and how she bravely stood her ground on this vital issue, see my blog entry from October 12, 2002, re-posted last March ["Erika Wins Again!"].


    I chose to do this entry now because I just found out that the Miss America contest for this year is being held tonight - it's going on right now, in fact. Erika is going to be featured, as she crowns the new Miss America. Congratulations in advance to whoever is chosen, but I strongly doubt that the new person to hold this position will have anywhere close to the amazing qualities that Erika is blessed to posess. It is likely that we will not see another pageant winner like Erika ever again.


    Update: From the Illinois Leader: Erika completes her reign
    Update: From the Illinois Leader, Kevin McCullough: Miss(placed) America

    Miss America 2003 Erika Harold salutes the crowd along the Miss America parade route on the Boardwalk in Atlantic City, New Jersey, Sept. 19... REUTERS/Tim Shaffer ------------- Miss America 2004, Ericka Dunlap from Florida (R), is crowned by Miss America 2003 Erika Harold, at the Boardwalk Hall in Atlantic City, New Jersey, Sept. 20. REUTERS/Tim Shaffer

    Photos via Yahoo! News... See more of the photos here. Also check out the latest news articles that mention Erika.



    Miss America 2003 Erika Harold poses for a photo outside Boardwalk Hall in Atlantic City, N.J., Monday, Sept. 15, 2003. Harold, 23, of Urbana, Ill., butted heads with Miss America Organization officials after winning the crown last September and telling them she planned to use her newfound celebrity to promote sexual abstinence programs during her reign. (AP Photo/Brian Branch-Price)
    AP - Sep 15 5:57 PM



    Update (10/6/03): Miss America unmuzzled ~ World Net Daily interview!
    Erika Harold on faith, homeschooling, and the abstinence controversy



    Blogging Notes

    As I said below, I am now (temporarily) the second blogger at Pieter Friedrich's 'Deux Ego' - but I will continue to maintain this blog, as well. Several of my entries are on the current 'Deux Ego' front page. I posted some viewpoints and information on the exciting California governor's race (I am here in the capital of Illinois, but Pieter actually lives near the CA state capital); as I pointed out in those entries, what happens in California in the upcoming weeks, months, and years, could have significant impacts on the rest of us, throughout our nation.

    We must hope and pray for the best.


    Vote Tom McClintock for Governor!



    ----------------------

    In other blog-related news, I recently added updates to my entry on the Christians of Iraq (scroll down to the lengthy entry for Sat., May 24th, or go here for the permalink) with links to information on the women of Iraq, as well as with information on the Iraqi Jews. In addition, I posted a link to excerpts from an article by Daniel McCarthy on the current dangers facing Christians in the Middle East.

    Update: I had noticed, before publishing this entry, that Mark Horne's latest blog entry was on the Christians of Iraq. I decided that I would include that as an update to this entry. Mark's pertinent entry is currently the 2nd post on his blog; here is the permalink.

    Update 2: I noticed, from Mark's entry, something that he included in that entry, which I had also come across at one or two Chaldean sites (when adding links to my above-mentioned May 24th entry). A Chaldean Catholic leader in Iraq, Patriarch Raphael I Bidawid has recently passed away, due to kidney disease. He was 81 years old when he passed away on July 7th. Here is an article on this, and here (or here) is the Associated Press story.

    This page from Feb. 2000 has a lot of information, and is supplemented with a links page.



    The Angry Clam

    Speaking of California issues and blogging, my 'Weblog of the Week' (which for a little while has been the GREAT Polemics site) is now The Angry Clam. A rock-solid conservative and a UCLA law student, The Angry Clam has an articulate, well-written, and widely-read blog, and has recently been providing some great coverage, insight, and analysis of the situation in his state. Like myself and Pieter, the Clam is a strong supporter of Tom McClintock, who is the best choice for conservatives in the [hopefully-]upcoming recall election.

    The Angry Clam's latest blog entry (permalink here) examines the recent 9th Circuit Court's decision, which said that the Oct. 7th recall election must be postponed. He gives a good analysis of the flaws in the judges' ruling, and points out that, if the ruling is not overturned, it could be a very dangerous precedent that would be set.


    Wednesday, September 17, 2003

    Note, for 9/20/03: I have moved modified my blog some, and copied some of my entries that were published earlier, and re-posted them as new entires for today, Saturday, Sept. 20th. I have also published (above, as you've probably already seen) an entry pertinent for tonight. Thank you for your patience within the past few months; I will be posting more new entries soon.



    CONSTITUTION DAY

    Today is Constitution Day, when we commemorate the anniversary of the approval of the U.S. Constitution in 1787. From the website of The Conservative Caucus, I noticed that they are holding the Constitution Day Event today in Washington, D.C. The admission is free, and from the draft agenda on the event information page, it seems that they may not be starting until 2 PM. That page had asked for people to RSVP to reserve their seats, but I don't know if they still have spots available for the public. I am of course not in the area, but for those who are, that might be something to check out. It looks like a fun event; I wish I could be there.


    Update: As one could perhaps have expected, Dave Black has some good stuff up on his site for this occassion. And Pieter Friedrich also has something good on his blog (currently the 2nd entry down on the page; permalink here).



    Note: I know that it might look bad that I have an entry to commemorate the anniversary mentioned above, but not one to commemorate the anniversary of the horrific event of two years ago. However, as I mention in the entry below, I recently became a [temporary] second blogger at Pieter Friedrich's 'Deux Ego' site, and as you can see by scrolling down to 9/11, I did post a 'Never Forget' entry there (though I might still be updating it; I should add some news and opinion items to that post). And as I also point out in the entry below, I will continue to maintain this blog, even though I'll also be posting at another site.



    Another great piece by Pieter...

    Pieter Friedrich's latest blog entry (permalink here) is outstanding... In it, he gives a solid, educational, yet relatively brief, overview of the duplicity and deceit used by our thug president, FDR, when dealing with foreign policy. I plan on doing an entry here soon on the lies and propaganda used by the also-horrible Clinton/Gore-Albright administration in order to justify their clumsy interventions and immoral, illegal warfare overseas. (Something to keep in mind when the Democrats complain about the current administration.) I have some good new entries planned for this site soon (as I've said before... ;-), but for now, take a look at Pieter's latest. (I have also, by the way, recently become the [temporary] second blogger at his great site, so expect some additional informative and thought-provoking commentaries over there... I will still be maintaining this site, though.)


    Tuesday, September 09, 2003

    One of the things I've been doing...

    With all the recent news and commentary about Howard Dean, and about the presidential race, Bush's job approval ratings, and potential methods of vote-garnering for presidential candidates, I wrote an article which actually contains some advice for Dr. Dean - from my fellow conservatives - on his momentous presidential campaign. (I am going to be starting a feature with "One-Minute Memos" - these will be like Jude Wanniski's well-known Memo on the Margin, which contain letters to well-known people, or to the general readership, about current affairs, the latest news and opinion-related issues, and various other topics as well. The memos sometimes also contain other writers' articles posted within them, with a positive commentary on them.) I have memos planned to people such as Newt Gingrich, Ann Coulter, a certain U.S. Senator, and a few others. But the one that I just wrote last week is one to Democratic presidential frontrunner Howard Dean:

    Memo to Howard Dean - Some advice from your right...

    Find out which major issue could provide the key for unlocking the door to Dr. Dean's chances of winning the White House.



    Oops!

    I hope Owen gets his wheels back.



    More great commentary on a pressing issue, from the #1 conservative student blogger:

    Josh Claybourn has some great entries on his blog's current front page about the "horror show" that has resulted due the very liberal fiscal policies (and the surrendering of other conservative principles) of the Bush administration. This is an ongoing issue, that has been very troubling to many of us for some time now, and there is currently a great deal of criticism of the President, and his adminstration, from social and fiscal conservatives, constitutionalists, and libertarians. As one of the Young America's Foundation directors posted a few months ago in a new discussion topic at the YAF Club 100 message board, if this what we get, "...[W]hy not just have Gore?"


    Update (9/11/03):
    In related news, I was just yesterday looking at the latest issue of Time, and as I looked through it, I noticed the very end of the magazine, where they regularly print a one-page opinion piece by someone. This issue's ending OP-ED is by Andrew Sullivan, who many of us bloggers and blog readers of course know of - he is one of the most famous and widely-read writers in the Blogosphere. While I have not read much of his actual writings, I have read about them, and about him, and I have learned some about his outlook and positions on the issues. And I have definitely disliked what I have learned... As I've stated in the past, Sullivan is a neocon leftist who pretends to be a 'conservative,' and I've wondered why he is so highly-regarded by conservative bloggers and columnists. (Though not all - many of them don't have very high of an opinion of him - see this entry by Bryan Preston and this one by Owen Courreges.)

    However, Sullivan's latest Time piece is very impressive - and 'Right' on. It summarizes well some of the immense frustration that people such as Josh, myself, and other conservatives and Republicans have been having at the fiscal liberalism of this administration - In many ways, the Bush administration (along with the Republican-controlled Congress) has been backing - and vigorously implementing - a larger big-government and fiscally liberal agenda than the one before it. This is a tragic situation - for the Republican Party, for American conservatives, and for our nation and our people as a whole.

    Here is Sullivan's great article:

    Come On, Big Spender
    Have you noticed that Bush is throwing around money like there's no tomorrow?

    This piece is very good - it cites specific statists, which show how fiscally irresponsible this administration has been. I would recommend reading through the whole article, but here are the last two paragraphs:
    ...Worse, the President doesn't even seem to care. When you ask Administration officials about the deficit, they tell you that it does not hurt the President politically. So what? Wasn't this President supposed to be about taking responsibility rather than checking polls? Or they say the Democrats would be worse. Maybe. A USA Today study found that G.O.P.-controlled state legislatures increased spending an average of 6.54% a year from 1997 to 2002, compared with 6.17% for legislatures run by Democrats. Ouch.

    One thing we know: the era of the end of Big Government is over. Bush has ended it. The choice now is between Big Insolvent Government (under the Republicans) or Big Slightly Less Insolvent Government (under the Democrats). No wonder voters are restless. And no wonder fiscal conservatives who backed Bush in 2000 are beginning to feel not so much disappointed as betrayed.