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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, December 31, 2003

    Holiday Angst

    As I've mentioned before (see my Christmas Day entry), this time of year can be difficult for some. There is so much emotion swirling around around this time - nostaglia, bittersweet thoughts, sadness, remembrance, etc..., in addition to a lot of stress (both eu- and dis-) and general anxiety and nervousness.

    Being cooped up at home, in the same environment day after day, certainly does not help the situation. And also what does not help is allowing oneself to become overwhelmed with issues and problems - like excessively worrying about the major local, national, and international controversies, debates, and injustices that you read or hear about. This has been a very big problem for some people, and it can have very bad effects on one's physical and emotional health.

    Here are some items that I've come across in the past, going along with this theme of frustration - frustration with life, with current issues and problems, with national and world events, and with political circumstances and our government's actions:

    An Angry American: Seeking Restoration of the Constitution, Dorothy Anne Seese, May 1, 2003
    Why I'm Eating So Much Chocolate, Julia Gorin, July 30, 1999

    Sometimes He Calms the Storm - My own guest blog entry from Sept. 28th

    For Inspiration and Therapy
    Some of these pieces are uplifting, at least from my perspective; for others, they may not have that effect.

    Letter from the Alamo, William Barret Travis, Feb. 24, 1836
    Alamo's Heroes Needed Today, Rev. Chuck Baldwin
    Not Yours to Give, U.S. Rep. Davy Crockett - I love this piece!
    Neo-Conned! (A Call to Arms), U.S. Rep. Ron Paul (R-TX), July 10, 2003
    Don't Fire Unless Fired Upon, U.S. Rep. John Hostettler (R-IN), Oct. 10, 2002
    Fourth of July Address, on Foreign Policy and America, Sec. of State John Quincy Adams, July 4, 1821
    Farewell Address to the American People, George Washington, Sept. 26, 1796
    A Time for Choosing (a.k.a. "The Speech"), Ronald Reagan, Oct. 27, 1964
    Speech at the Brandenburg Gate, President Ronald Reagan, June 12, 1987
    Commencement Address at The Citadel - Class of '99, Patrick J. Buchanan
    America's Engagement in the World at New Century's Dawn, Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison (R-TX), Nov. 19, 1999
    A Military Man's Perspective... on 9/11, Open Letter from a USMC Harrier Pilot - excellent!
    Winning the Cultural War, Charlton Heston, Feb. 16, 1999

    Rebuking Wrong

    - Swift Justice in the Blogosphere?, Paul Musgrave (Josh Claybourn comments)
    - Novak may be wrong, but he's a true patriot, David Keene
    - Are critics of war providing aid and comfort to our enemies?, Tacitus
    - George McGovern was Right, Cal Thomas
    - A Proud Nation Should Be Sorry (to our soldiers), Norah Vincent
    - Hero: Col. Scott Ritter was Right, Carl F. Warden
    - Moral Courage is the First Commandment, Col. David Hackworth
    - An Open Letter to Lt. General Michael Short, Stella Jatras
    - A Foreign Policy Vision for the Next American Century, U.S. Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison (R-TX)
    - Remarks on School Violence and Kosovo, U.S. Rep. Newt Gingrich (R-GA)
    - Speech to the U.N., U.S. Sen. Jesse Helms (R-NC) [Response: Augusta Chronicle - Rev. Chuck Baldwin - John Doggett]
    - The Truth Will Emerge, U.S. Sen. Robert Byrd (D-WV)
    - Response to Colbert I. King's allegations in Washington Post, Rev. Pat Robertson
    - Free at Last (Rebuttal to Norman Podhoretz), Patrick J. Buchanan
    - Resignation from the Republican Party, U.S. Senator Bob Smith [pertinent ram files here and here]
    - My Side of the Story: The "Checkers" Speech, Richard M. Nixon [watch or listen to clips of speech]
    - Letter to My Children, Whittaker Chambers
    - Veto of the bill to created the 2nd Bank of the United States, President Andrew Jackson
    - July 4th Address on Foreign Policy, Sec. of State John Quincy Adams

    Update: Please check out my Dec. 30th entry at WatchBlog, "Christmas Wishes"... There's some important material there, including some war-related items from Christmases past.

    Christmas Continued...

    I have disliked, for some years, how, after December 25th, Christmas is over, and it seems that those great things that were affiliated with it - happiness, a joyful atmosphere in the community, and kindness towards others, as well as all the great decorations... and Christmas music! - seems to go away. This year, I had been especially upset (see my Christmas entry below) about the fact that I had stayed at home for the days before Christmas, and hadn't listened to Christmas music, hadn't done any Christmas shopping, hadn't been talking to people outside my family, and had totally not gotten into the Christmas spirit. So, I decided, a few days ago, that Christmas will be continued, at least for a few more days, even though December 25th has passed. So here, at University Blog, it is still Christmas... And after the year changes (in less than 10 minutes), it will still be Christmas! In fact, I think I just might make Christmas last until I have to go back to school... :-)

    (Note: That's not because school is bad or anything... It just seems that while I'm on winter break, Christmas should last.)

    Here is the comment about this matter that I posted at the December 26th entry at the 'King of Fools' blog:

    Just about an hour ago, I decided that, like Michele said, it should still be Christmas, at least for me, even though December 25th has passed. I was cooped up at home, doing overdue course work (and other stuff, like blogging and television-watching), and I failed to turn on the radio to listen to Christmas music. Then, on Christmas afternoon, I realized that I had blown my chance to do that, and that the radio stations wouldn't be playing any more Christmas stuff after that day. There are a lot of things that I'm regreting, but I have decided that Christmas will continue, at least for a few more days (if not more!). I was not in the Christmas spirit these past weeks; I've instead been at home, getting frustrated and upset. So it would be nice if some of us bloggers would extend Christmas for at least a little while longer. (I wish that people would keep their Christmas decorations - like on houses and buildings, and elsewhere - up for awhile... I am glad that you still have the Christmas theme on your site.) This year can be the year for an extended Christmas... That would be neat.

    What do you think about that?

    Posted by: Aakash - December 27, 2003 at 06:01 PM CST

    So I will say, even though it doesn't seem like the day for this:
    Merry Christmas!

    From the Front Line

    At 'Deux Ego,' I posted this entry... Please take a look at it, especially if you are reading this from overseas, in one of the places in which our troops are stationed. In that guest blog entry, I asked for e-mail correspondence from our soldiers, and other Americans, who are currently serving overseas (like in Iraq, Afghanistan, or anywhere else). As I said there, I can, if the author wishes, publish e-mails that I receive (anonymously, if desired); I know that some bloggers and other website operators have already been doing this.

    Please take a look at that guest blog entry, and the other guest entry linked to within it.

    Thanks to all of our soldiers who are serving our country in the present time, and to those who have done so in the past. God bless you.


    I posted this as a guest entry at 'Deux Ego'...


    There's an old saying:

    If it sounds too good to be true,

    then it probably is.


    Thanks to J. D. Talley for helping me, within the past couple of days (starting Christmas night), with a blog formatting problem. If you had come across my blog within the past few weeks, and had noticed that it was hard to read, because the width of this column was too great, that was because of a problem with an image in one of my past entries, below. I found what the problem was, and it has now been rectified. (If this width problem re-surfaces in the future, please let me know.)

    J. D. runs the great Bureaucrash website and libertarian activism organization... ("We use creative activism to change the political dogmas of our generation.") I had come across their site some time ago, and I liked their flyers and other materials, such as those in their "Are Your Politics Hurting Someone?" campaign (here's their old website). And here is a listing of all of their campaigns... I don't agree with all of their positions, but a lot of what they're doing is great.

    Jason D. Talley Here is J. D.'s weblog.

    Congratulations to Jeff of 'Hot Liberty' for being named Bureaucrash's Crasher of the Month after leading an anti-anti-globalization protest in Florida. Hot Liberty is one of the libertarian blogs that I just came across the other day. Also check out OberNews, by Brooke Oberwetter (whose name I had seen as a guest blogger at Mr. Balko's blog), the great weblog (a group blog), and the weblog of Jacob Grier, who is about a year younger than I, and an intern at the CATO Institute.

    Updates: A few weeks ago, I came across the weblog of Justin Logan, another libertarian blogger, who I just saw is also an intern at CATO. I also just saw at his neat blog this funny post... (Well, they do call that guy the "Prince of Darkness.")

    If you want to see the weblog of another libertarian blogger who's also a think tank intern, check out Matthew works at the Independence Institute... (not to be confused with the Independent Institute).

    Thursday, December 25, 2003

    Update (12/30/03): I just published an entry at WatchBlog (the Republican column) last night, entitled "Christmas Wishes."

    I've also just published two entries at my blog here, right below this one (both dated for December 19th). I'll have some more new stuff posted here soon. I hope that you all had a great Christmas, and are having a great holiday season. Thanks for taking some time during this period to visit my weblog... Please check back soon. Thanks!

    Update (12/31/03): Now, on the evening of New Year's Eve (!), I've posted three more entries, dated for December 19th (even though I just wrote them today). I know I should be out doing something tonight, but I don't know if I'll go anywhere, or just blog and lie around the house... I've been cooped up at home for awhile, with 'cabin fever' and holiday angst, and that's not good... I need to get out and do something, but I don't have much energy right now. I'll have some more stuff up here soon, about holiday stress, and some thoughts about it, and about foreign policy and some other topics.

    But forget about that for now. If you're reading this and it's still New Year's Eve, you should go out and do something... (Don't let my feeling crummy lower your holiday spirits any.) Have fun, be happy, and please be safe and wise as well. May God bless you and your friends and loved ones. I hope that your year has gone great, and that your New Year's celebrations go well also.



    Merry Christmas!!

    My composition skills may not be at their best right now, so I won't be saying too much tonight. I have actually been rather tired and anxious today.... but I hope that Christmas has been going great for you and yours.

    For the past several days, I have been cooped up at home, and I neglected to have the radio on, so I haven't been listening to Christmas music... I regret that very much. And it has hardly been snowing at all here, so we don't have a "white Christmas." I haven't really been in the Christmas spirit - far from it, in fact.

    I better stop before I make this blog entry too negative (on a day like this), if it isn't already that way... Anyway, here is my Christmas Eve entry from last year (that link is to the post in my alternate blog; it can be found in the archives of this blog too). That has some good stuff in it; take a look, if you want.

    A song just came on the radio, and I had thought of it earlier, and it just seems somewhat odd, because it seems like it was from a past year (I think anachronistic may somewhat be the word I'm look for, though its often hard to verbalize emotions) - Around this time of the year, I get rather nostalgic and sad... I think that might happen to other people, but it's just not a happy time period. I think I'm going to close this blog entry early... Sorry for my ramblings.

    I will say another thing right now, and then maybe update this post later - To anyone reading this who is young, or even to those who are not, let me answer a question: Yes, Santa Claus is real. It was one of my younger Christmases when there was a little tree in the family room... When arriving in that room on Christmas morning, the fireplace doors were open; I was told that a sound was heard over the night, as if we had had a visitor. We should have left some food for him. I don't know if anyone has ever heard someone in the house on Christmases since then, but there are always a lot of presents under our tree (the tree's much bigger now). For more about this topic, check out this excellent recent guest blog entry (posted by Ryan Reynolds) at (the other entries there are good as well).

    Some other items for today:

    Grandma Got Run Over By a Reindeer
    Osama Got Run Over By a Reindeer
    (or how 'bout an airplane)?

    Snoopy vs. the Red Baron (Snoopy's Christmas)

    The Christmas Truce
    The Christmas Truce ~ Fact and Fiction, BBC
    Peace in No Man's Land ~ Christmas 1914, Jennifer Rosenberg

    Check out, World Net Daily, and for some good stuff. Also, I did a guest entry featuring a fun page of Christmas music at the great Mises Institute website. And don't miss this excellent Christmas section at the website of the Christian Broadcasting Network or this excellent section at

    Merry Christmas, and God Bless!!

    The True Meaning of Christmas

    Update (12/28/03): As Greyhawk says, just because Christmas has passed doesn't mean that you can't still participate in Operation Bob Hope. Stop by, and send some more greetings to our our brave soldiers (and soldiers' spouses) for this holiday season.

    Friday, December 19, 2003

    Another Anniversary - December 19th

    My entry below is about the anniversary of something that happened in my life on December 19th, six years ago. However, the following year, another thing happened on this same date, which affected the lives of many, many more people. I have done an entry at WatchBlog on this matter... Check it out, if you want. I did an entry here on December 19th of last year on this, as well.

    Culture Shock

    December 19th is a significant date in my life, due to some things that happened on this day six years ago, during my junior year of high school. As we get older, we have new experiences, and learn about new realities of life - some of these things can be shocking, especially if you've been rather shy and non-social for most of your life. For those who've stayed home a lot while growing up, and haven't been very social and outgoing - if you're looking to start doing some of that, it might be wise to start out slow, by doing things, and hanging out with people, that you feel rather comfortable around, and who do things that you are used to doing. Maybe, in the future, you can start hanging out with different people as well, but that can wait - don't rush into socializing in ways that you may not be able to handle. Hanging out with others, and socializing, should be an enjoyable, fun, and safe experience, not one that will cause you an excessive amount of distress, anxiety, and culture shock. Some of that may be inevitable, but for many people, it might be best to take it slow, and to take small steps when trying to experience the "real world." That's just some advice... from someone who's made some mistakes in the past.

    Note: This blog entry, and the two below it, were actually written on Wed., December 31, 2003.

    William Roth

    Just a little while ago, my father mentioned my Roth IRA - something that is a very good thing to have. This IRA (Individual Retirement Account) was designed by former U.S. Senator William Roth (R-DE). Mr. Roth recently passed away, on December 14th, just a few days after the leaders who I've blogged about below. Here are the latest news items on the former Senator, who, like Mr. Bartley below, was a key figure in the tax cutting movement - Roth did many other things as well.

    Below, I did an entry on Bob Bartley, the longtime Wall Street Journal editorial page editor who also recently passed away. Here is an excellent tribute column on both Bartley and Roth, by the conservative writer and economist Dr. Paul Craig Roberts, who served as one of the highest-ranking members of President Reagan's Treasury Department, and who knew both men well:
    Two Who Made a Difference

    [Update: An annotated version of Dr. Roberts' column is available here.]

    I also included in that entry below an article by supply-side guru Jude Wanniski on the late Bob Bartley. Here is Mr. Wanniski's piece on William Roth:
    Bill Roth, A Natural Supply-Sider

    Bob Bartley

    It has been only recently that I have been learning about the supply-side movement of the 1970s and 1980s in America - a political and economic movement that influenced the Reagan administration, and led to a great deal of the economic prosperity that was created by the Reagan Revolution. I had recently checked out a copy of the famous political and economic masterpiece, The Way the World Works, written by the conservative columnist and political economist Jude Wanniski. I have previously linked to this page that I made, which contains the introduction to the 20th anniversary edition of that classic text. While that introduction (to the 1998 edition) was written by Bob Novak, the edition that I checked out of the library was the previous edition, published in 1989. The person who wrote the introduction this edition of The Way the World Works was Bob Bartley, the Wall Street Journal editorial page editor who was Wanniski's old boss when Jude was a writer for the WSJ. Mr. Barlety was mentioned at the top of that web page, and when I was annotating the text on that page with hyperlinks, I linked to Mr. Bartley's bio page at the WSJ Editorial Page website ( I see that that bio page has now been changed, to reflect the fact that Mr. Bartley passed away on December 10th.

    Here is the Wall Street Journal's remembrance of Mr. Bartley (at its editorial page site), and here it is at its main newspaper site. And here is Jude Wanniski's article: The Most Important Journalist of Our Time

    Also check out Matthew Stinson's entry on Mr. Bob Bartley.

    Updates: Here are some more good items:

    Bruce Bartlett: Remembering Bob Bartley
    Bill Murchison: Robert Bartley: A model page, a model journalist
    Emmett Tyrell: My friend Bob Bartley
    Peter Brimelow: In Memoriam: Robert L. Bartley

    Peggy Noonan: Freedom's Best Friend
    Bob Bartley was conservative when that took courage.

    Article from last January:
    Who Is Robert Bartley?, Bob Novak, The Weekly Standard, Jan. 13, 2003
    The most influential journalist of our time

    One week before his death, Mr. Bartley was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom. Please check out this page, which contains several articles with a lot of information:

    Here is the White House press statement about this.

    Paul Simon

    On the afternoon of December 9th, I learned that our former U.S. Senator, Paul Simon, had passed away, at St. John's Hospital right here in Springfield. I posted this comment at Paul Musgrave's blog right away (he had done eulogies for Daniel Patrick Moynihan and Paul Wellstone, two other former U.S. Senators who passed on not too long ago), and then Mr. Musgrave did an entry about this. Check out Illinigirl's post about our former Senator, which links to this entry of 'Peoria Pundit' Bill Dennis.

    The Illinois Leader featured the news at their site, and this is the discussion board for people to post their thoughts about Mr. Simon, and his legacy.

    Here is my local newspaper's editorial on Mr. Simon, and here is political writer Bernard Schoenberg's excellent column. The other items from the State Journal-Register on the late Senator Simon can be found here.

    I'll update this post with some more thoughts and material soon. I wish that I had posted this entry earlier...

    Thursday, December 18, 2003

    Overdue Work...

    As I mentioned in an update to an entry below, my final exams have been over for a few days, but I still have a ton of work to do. I have applied for my A.S.T. at a certain legislator's office, and I hope I get the position. That is actually all that I need in order to graduate, aside from my credits from this semester. For now, I have some overdue projects that I need to get done ASAP, and that is going to require some time and energy, and many tedious hours of focus and concentration, in front of a computer screen. (But sans Blogger...)

    I will however, shortly be doing some posts about Paul, Bob, and William, as well as on the Chief. (Three of those guys have now passed away, and one is still hanging on. I hope that the latter stays with us for a long time to come, but I don't know...)

    For those who still have final exams and end-of-the-semester course work, good luck with that. And I would like to let you know of someone who could be of help, if you need some inspiration, or when you're feeling tired. His name is Mr. Nice. I want to thank my friend Josh for introducing me to him last February. Enjoy!

    For Wednesday, December 17th:

    Today marks the 100th anniversary of an amazing event in Kitty Hawk, North Carolina.

    At the end of CNN's "Lou Dobbs Tonight" for this day, they featured a quote from another famed aviator, Charles Lindbergh, which pertains to this:

    "Whether outwardly or inwardly, whether in space or time, the farther we penetrate the unknown, the vaster and more marvelous it becomes."

    Update: John Adams has a thoughtful post about this... Check it out.

    An Assassination Attempt

    Amid the news of the capture of one despotic president, many did not hear the news about an assassination attempt on another foreign ruler in that continent.

    For some perspective on the major impact that a thing like this could have on the rest of the world, check out the last paragraph in this memo by Jude Wanniski, in which he links to this column by the renowned scientist and conservative analyst Dr. James Gordon Prather.

    The situation in the Middle East and south Asia, with regard to Musharraf and his country, is very significant for those of us in the United States. If something drastic happens there, a nuke or two could slip into the hands of Osama bin Laden (remember him?)... The "Islamic bomb" is currently in Pakistan. While our government leaders are still spending fortunes of taxpayer dollars searching for banned weapons in Iraq, real WMD could be getting into the hands of terrorists - those same terrorists who have attacked us in the past, and desire to do so again.

    Unfortunately, it seems that most people are not paying much attention to that situation, as our resources and attention have been focused elsewhere during much of the past year or so. Here are some relevant resources and information on this matter:

    New Terror Worries from Pakistan, Arnaud de Borchgrave
    The Nuke World Order, Dr. James Gordon Prather
    Our Incoherent Foreign Policy Fuels Middle East Turmoil, U.S. Rep. Ron Paul (R-TX)

    Background information:

    Where's bin Laden been Hidin'?

    By now, only someone hiding in rathole, or perhaps someone attending Chicago public schools, is not aware that our military has located and captured Saddam Hussein. Amid all of the news and discussion about this great occurence has been the subject of another still-at-large fugitive tyrant, Osama bin Laden. (Yes, it's been awhile, but I think some people still remember who that is...) Many people believe that bin Laden is hiding out somewhere near the border of Afghanistan and Pakistan, and there has been a great deal of effort being put forth in order to locate him in that region.

    But what if he is somewhere else? In a comment post from two months ago at this entry of Sgt. Hook's, I posted a thought about a possibility about where Osama bin Laden might be hiding out. While our forces have been pursuing a war on terrorism throughout Afghanistan, other parts of Asia, and Africa, there is one major area of militant Islamic and al-Qaeda activity that is possibly not being as emphasized in this war. And bin Laden could be taking advantage of this possible 'blind spot' in our terror war in order to hide out, and continue to conduct his operations.

    And that could be why we haven't found him yet.

    Another [Belated] Blogosphere Birthday Greeting...

    In a post below, I wished Jamie Doe a happy 19th birthday. I recently found out that another great blogger turned a year older this week... This guy is now ten years ahead of me in years (and wisdom? ;-).

    Christopher Kanis ("Spoons"), whose fine blog is located just a stone's throw down I-55 from mine, turned 32 on Monday. If you want to, I don't think he would mind if you sent some birthday wishes (and perhaps, a donation as well...) his way. Although, if you are an Illinois resident, like myself, Spoons will actually give you five bucks. (Find out about that here and here.)

    Did you know that being a blogger can help you find true love? I know Spoons knows that... His wife actually met him through his weblog! (When I have another minute, I'll retrieve and link to the pertinent blog posts of his explaining how that happened.) I wonder if there are any other such such stories of this happening within the Blogosphere...

    Anyway, Spoons, if you are ever down here, you should stop by and visit. And the same is true for Illinigirl. Perhaps we could start a central Illinoisians conservative bloggers' club. :-)

    Saddam Found

    Saddam Hussein has, at last, been found and captured. See my guest blog entry on this...

    As I said there, this is great news for countless people throughout the world, regardless of how they felt about the issue of going to war against Iraq. This latest turn of events will hopefully raise morale levels among our servicemen and women in Iraq (something that would definitely be useful, at a time like this), and will help lift the spirits of many Iraqis as well.

    Congratulations to our military for finding the 'Ace in the Hole.'


    Many bloggers have linked to Andrew Sullivan's compilation with certain reactions to the news of Saddam's capture from certain anti-war leftists.

    Radley Balko, whose reaction to this news can be found here, has pointed out that many of the pro-war bloggers have been fringebaiting (to borrow a term from John Cole, who recently used it in this context) and did this entry with some "sensible reactions" to Saddam's capture from bloggers who opposed the war.

    Update: The great blogger Andrew Olmsted had a good entry about this, in which he links to Gary Farber's post on the argument ad strawman.

    I'll likely update this post with links to some more blog entries and news about this topic.


    Rev. Sensing links to an informative article about our soldiers' reactions to the capture of Saddam. As he notes in that entry, the soldiers of course realize that this is good news, but are unsure of how it will affect them in the future.

    And speaking of our brave and heroic soldiers, I've done many entries in support of our troops; they contain some useful links and resources. I just found this troubling news item about the possibility that our wounded soldiers are being denied their benefits by our government's bureaucratic medical system. There have been many news and opinion pieces about this issue - the way that our government leaders have been treating our soldiers and veterans is wrong, and major improvements need to take place in this area.

    Cat in the Quagmire

    Saddam Hussein is a monster, but he is also a rat. And speaking of animals, though I haven't seen The Cat in the Hat, I found a Seussian dialogue that Saddam may have engaged in with our leaders, during their search for his infamous weapons of mass destruction. Check out what was said here.

    Campaign Finance Control

    On the same day that I had my final final exam (it was for my Constitutional Law class), I later found out that the U.S. Supreme Court issued a very unfortunate ruling, upholding most of the horrible McCain-Feingold "campaign finance reform" bill that was passed by Congress last year, and signed into law by President Bush.

    In one of my other classes, on Political Parties and Interest Groups, we had discussed that law, and the fact that it was being challenged in court, and that SCOTUS was going to rule on it soon. Conservative, libertarian, and liberal groups had joined together to challenge that unconstitutional act in court. President Bush had said during his campaign that he would not sign that bill into law, and when he did in fact do that last year, he did so knowing that it was unconstitutional. Many of his supporters were willing to give him a pass on that, and many believed that the courts would strike part of that bill down. Now, things have not turned out as planned.

    Shame on President Bush.

    Mass Graves

    There have been a lot of blog entries within the past few weeks about mass graves in Iraq.

    Christopher Allbritton, the reporter who was in Iraq not too long ago, and who maintains the "Back to Iraq 3.0" weblog, had a thought-provoking blog entry on this issue.

    Sunday, December 07, 2003

    Update (12/12):

    Finals Time...

    A lot of us in the collegiate corner of the Blogosphere are running around like mad right now... I just had my last final exam earlier today (actually since it's past midnight, it would be yesterday afternoon), but I still have a lot of end-of-the-semester work to do. A really, really, large amount of work, in fact... :-( :-( :-(

    I'll try to update this entry, with my weblog award contest voting suggestions, some time before the polls close (on Dec. 14th). I don't know if I'll be able to do that, though. Anyway, right now, I have to get an essay done by morning, and get my A.S.T. stuff figured out as well (I still haven't found one for next semester!), so I gotta go. I will be back before long, though... Never fear. Expect this top part of this entry to be updated some more, as well.

    Update (12/14) - I should have mentioned this earlier, but I want to thank Matthew Edgar for helping me with some info, shortly before a final exam (on political philosphy)! Matthew just recently resumed blogging, as Cal Ulmann recently reminded us. I have had Matthew's site ("An Insomniac Dreams of Free Markets") on my blogroll for some time, and I just added Mr. Ulmann's ("Where Hip Hop and Libertarianism Meet") there as well - which I should have done some time ago. Please check out their weblogs, and thanks again to Matthew for the help before the test!

    ----------------- Original Entry -----------------

    Awards Time

    Many of us in the Blogosphere are now aware of the weblog awards contest being put on by Kevin Aylward, at his popular Wizbang! blog. My blog was not selected to be in the running for an award, but several blogs that I nominated were chosen, and are now being voted on. Anyone may vote in any of the categories of competition, and each person may vote once every 12 hours - the voting ends on December 14th. Whichever weblog gets the most votes will win the award for that category. There are many categories, include one for the best blog within most of the Truth Laid Bear Ecosystem levels.

    This blog entry contains background details and information about this weblog awards contest:

    To see all of the blog entries at the Wizbang! blog about this contest, they are listed here:

    To see a list of all the blogs that are running in the contest, in each of the categories, and to cast your vote, go here:

    As I said above, anyone may vote, and each person is allowed to vote once every 12 hours. The polls close on December 14th.

    If you choose to vote, you should vote for the weblog that you think is best for each category of competition. I will however, be updating this entry with a list of "endorsements" and suggestions...

    Update (12/13/03): Here it is... (I wish I had done it sooner...)

    My ballot recommendations for the weblog awards contest:

    Best Overall Blog?
    I haven't voted in this category yet... I don't know if I will.

    Best New Blog? (Established 2003)
    Well, I like Matthew Stinson's blog, even though it was included on the ballot accidentally (he recently moved off of Blogger, but he's had a blog for longer than just 2003). I guess that Kevin decided to keep his blog on the ballot anyway; if he had known that it wasn't a new blog, he may have included it in another category of competition for which it was nominated.

    Best Group Blog?
    I would appreciate it is you would vote for WatchBlog, a great group weblog - providing Republican, Democratic, and independent viewpoints. I recently became a contributing editor at this great blog.

    Best Foreign Blog?
    I haven't voted in this category yet, but I recently added Dissecting Leftism to my blogroll, so perhaps I will vote for that. One weblog that I definitley will not be voting for in this category is The Dissident Frogman.

    Best Humor Blog?
    I got in my nomination - this blog - too late for it to be considered. Unfortunately, the poll doesn't allow write-ins, so I don't know who I would vote for here.

    Best Looking Blog?
    I haven't had the chance to go through that list. I nominated Andrew Olmsted's blog, but, like for the one above, I did so after the nominations had already closed.

    Best Female Authored Blog?
    I do not know who to vote for in that category... There are a lot of good women in the Blogosphere, though, like Dr. Lyman and Mrs. Friedrich, and Mrs. Cunningham, and Illinigirl, and many others. (Thanks to the aforementioned ones, and other ladies of the Blogosphere, for blogrolling my site!)

    Best Liberal Blog?
    I like The Daily Kos, and somewhat like Kevin Drum's CalPundit as well. I think I may have voted for the Kos, though.

    Best Conservative Blog?
    I don't think Sully should be listed, and perhaps Smash shouldn't either... Both of them have expressed some liberal views in the past, and have had some left-leaning material that has been published on their widely-read weblogs. Tacitus has a very excellent site, though - and he is a good, pro-military, pro-America, fair and rational weblogger. I would suggest a vote for him.

    Best Media/Journalism Blog?
    I voted for Reason Magazine's Hit & Run. It's far from ideal, but at least they are pro-liberty, somewhat anti-state, and opposed the expansion of the 'welfare-warfare' state. I would definitely not vote for the Tarantoad's "Best of the Web" blog.

    I will finish this listing shortly with a listing of who I would suggest for the Truth Laid Bear Ecosystem categories.

    Update (12/13/03): Here they are....

    Best "Higher Beings & Mortal Humans" Ecosystem Level Blog?
    I ended up voting for the Drudge Report, even though Matt's site isn't really a blog...

    Best "Playful Primates" Ecosystem Level Blog?
    I think I went ahead and voted for James' very fine Outside the Beltway weblog. I will not vote for Citizen Smash or Bill Quick's Daily Pundit.

    Best "Large Mammals" Ecosystem Level Blog?
    Please vote for Josh Claybourn. He is, as I've said before, one of the greatest individuals in the Blogosphere, and the #1 collegiate conservative blogger.

    Best "Marauding Marsupials" Ecosystem Level Blog?
    My blog was self-nominated, but not chosen to be on the ballot, for this category of competition. I haven't voted for anyone else here.

    Best "Adorable Rodents" Ecosystem Level Blog?
    I had no preference for this category, but a couple of days ago, soon after I finished my final final exam, I communicated online with David MSC, a military blogger. He was very nice, and has a good site, and I said that I would cast at least one vote for him, which I have now done.

    Best "Flappy Birds" Ecosystem Level Blog?
    Paul Cella's blog is another very, very excellent site in the Blogosphere - one of my favorites. Please consider voting for Cella's Review in this category.

    Best "Slithering Reptiles" Ecosystem Level Blog?
    Two of the blogs that I nominated for this category were actually chosen to be in the running for this award. Marcus Tullius Cicero's Conservative Observer is a great blog, and John Adams has a great site as well. I initially voted for the Conservative Observer, since Marcus has blogrolled me, and I agree with his political views more closely than I do with regards to John's. However, John did a recent entry about this contest linking to my blog, and he is a very excellent writer. I have already voted for the Conservative Observer, and will be voting for John's blog tomorrow.

    Best "Crawly Amphibians" Ecosystem Level Blog?
    I would heartily recommend the Blog. It is currently in third place...

    Best "Flippery Fish" Ecosystem Level Blog?
    This is another category in which two of the blogs that I nominated were both chosen to be on the ballot. I will co-suggest Ryan Reynolds' blog, and that of Adrianne Truett ("Listen, My Children"). Please vote for at least one of them. (The polls close at 5 PM EST on Sunday, Dec. 14th.)

    Best "Slimy Molluscs" (and below) Ecosystem Level Blog?
    I don't know who to choose here. I don't think that I voted in this category.

    There was a more-recently-added category for "Most Egregious Omission." I don't know which blog should win for this category, but the only one there which has blogrolled mine was Jeff Quinton's Backcountry Conservative. I voted for it.

    5,000 and counting...

    Looking at the hit summary at my SiteMeter counter, I see that my blog has received 38 hits so far today. And the total number of hits that my blog has received since I installed that SiteMeter counter is 5,027 (note: that's "five thousand twenty-seven" ;-).

    So today is the day that University Blog reached the 5,000 hit mark. (Actually, it reached that mark some time ago, since I installed the SiteMeter counter in late May, and I had started my blog months earlier - in September 2002.)

    I guess I should be congratulating myself. (Unfortunately, I don't really have time for that, since finals are going to begin very soon.)

    I'm not nearly as good as Deb (The Accidental Jedi), but I guess I can say that I'm 'moving up.' Thanks to all of the people - from around the country, and around the world - who have visited, or stumbled upon, my humble abode in the collegiate corner of the Blogosphere. I hope that you enjoyed what you saw, and I hope that I can keep this up for a long time to come.

    "Until Every One Comes Home"...

    There was one thing that I had wanted to post in one of my Veterans Day entries (below), but I had left it out... I am going to post it here now.

    Late at night, there are a lot of public service announcements that come on television. One that I have seen recently, and that I really like, is the one from the USO.

    That great television spot is available for viewing at the USO's website:

    I thought that that is really neat... I have liked when it comes on. (In case anyone is wondering, the song that's playing in that ad is "I'll Be Seeing You," a classic from World War II.)

    Pearl Harbor - 62nd Anniversary

    December 7th, 1941 - A day that has lived in infamy...


    Did FDR Know?
    Find out here...


    Update: Check out this article called "Past Lies"... It was also published here at Dave Black Online.

    Happy Birthday to Jamie

    As some of you may know, for the past several months, I have been the temporary second blogger at the 'Deux Ego' website... I have been blogging in the place of the original second blogger, Jamie Doe of Detroit, who has been away at college. I don't know when exactly she will be taking back over the second blogging postion at 'Deux Ego,' but I do know that Jamie turned 19 the day before yesterday (Dec. 5th).

    As that entry says, it would be nice if someone would look through Jamie's wishlist, and perhaps considering sending one of those six items her way.

    So add Miss Jamie Doe to the list of people who I've wished "Happy Birthday" to on this blog (along with Jane Finch, Josh Claybourn, Kyle Williams, the Bush daughters, and the now-late Strom Thurmond).

    Congratulations Jamie, and I hope that your birthday, and your weekend, has gone well, as you have celebrated this great occassion. Of course, it's not as significant as last year's, or as next year's, or the birthday after that... But please enjoy this year, and try to accomplish as much as you are able to do.

    To all those who are teenagers, please try to stay that way for as long as you can. ;-)

    As I've said before on this blog, it's good to be young, and one shouldn't be in a rush to get older - lost time is never found again.