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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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    Sunday, March 27, 2005

    Happy Easter!!

    3Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, which according to his abundant mercy hath begotten us again unto a lively hope by the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead...

    - 1 Peter 1:3 KJV

    Here is my Easter entry from two years ago.

    Happy Easter! (Aprl 20, 2003)

    3Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, which according to his abundant mercy hath begotten us again unto a lively hope by the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead...
    --- 1 Peter 1:3 KJV

    I remember sharing with someone the following news wire article (and from the mainstream media!), which I printed out a couple of years ago:

    Historians say Resurrection a reality, UPI, April 11, 2001

    Please check out that Easter entry of mine from 2003.

    And here is Matt Wallace's entry from this year.

    Lee Strobel's The Case for Easter

    Time for some 'Open Letters'
    On Terri Schindler-Schiavo

    I am planning on attending the Leadership Institute's national conference, and if I don't get certain things completed before then, things may not be good... I am going to post here, however, in entries below, three "open letters" that I've recently come across, on the urgent issue that so many of us have been blogging about.

    I have featured these three 'open letters' on Terri's case in the three blog entries below.

    Note: Since I had the idea of posting these three letters, another good one has been written. It is by Elizabeth Farah.

    Sent to me last Wednesday, by another blogger and columnist:
    (It's actual author is anonymous.)


    An Open Letter to Governor Jeb Bush

    Dear Governor Bush,

    It appears that you and only you can save Terri Schiavo from premeditated judicial murder.

    Terri is dying a painful and inhumane death at this very moment. We, your voting base, implore you to immediately exercise your perfectly legal executive authority, take custody of Terri Schiavo, and have her feeding tube re-inserted.

    There are now new and very credible allegations, accompanied by compelling evidence, which indicate that Michael Schiavo, Terri’s former husband who is common-law married to another woman and has children by her, may have been systematically abusing Terri since she became incapacitated.

    You are perfectly within your legal and moral authority to order Florida’s Department of Children and Family Services to investigate these very credible allegations. No court has the authority to tell you not to do your job, and no voter who is likely to support you in any future election will fault you for doing what is right, honorable and legal.

    We are very grateful and proud of you for what you’ve done so far in an effort to save Terri. Know this however; we are closely watching what you do from here.

    Please recognize this as “tough love” Governor: If you do not take all action within your legal authority to save Terri, and she is successfully murdered by Michael Schiavo and an activist judiciary, then you yourself may experience the unfortunate pains of political euthanasia.


    The Voters

    Call to Action

    Please contact Governor Bush’s office by telephone or e-mail and encourage him to act now to save Terri Schiavo’s precious life.

    Phone: 850-488-4441



    Here is another "open letter" - to President Bush and Governor Bush - this one from Michael Peroutka and his brother, Stephen Peroutka, of the Institute on the Constitution. The Peroutka brothers are also members of the "11th Hour Coalition" (formed recently to attempt to save Terri's life), and Michael was the Constitution Party's nominee for President of the United States in the last election.

    Peroutka Brothers write the Bush Brothers

    Bush Brothers Must Do Christian Duty, Save Terri Schiavo
    Innocent Blood on Hands of Bush Brothers - and God's Wrath - If Everything Not Done to Save Terri Schiavo

    The following "Open Letter" to President George W. Bush and Florida Governor Jeb Bush has been issued by Michael Peroutka and his brother Stephen:

    March 22, 2005

    Dear Mr. President And Governor Bush:

    Greetings, friends, in the blessed Name of our Lord, apart from Whom we can do nothing (John 15:5). We write to both of you as fellow Christians and beseech you, respectfully, to do everything within your considerable power to keep Terri Schiavo from being murdered in cold blood....

    Read the Peroutka brothers letter to the Bush brothers Read the letter...

    After I forwarded out the e-mail that I received on February 22nd from the Pro-Life Blogs administrator, one person who got it was Mike Tosh, the President of the Society of Conservative Students at UIS. That same day, he sent a letter to Governor Jeb Bush of Florida.

    Mr. Bush,

    My name is Michael Tosh. I am president of the Society of Conservative Students (SCS) at the University of Illinois Springfield. I understand the difficult choice you are about to make. I am sorry that it has fallen upon you. But Great Leaders must lead! So I am informing you that you have our full support to save Terri's life. We are a small organization, but I can guarantee that all Social Conservative eyes are now on you. I pray with all my heart, that now when life is on the line, you show us you are the leader we all hope and pray you are. I know you have a great following and the support of one small organization may seem easy to lose, but I appeal to you to ask yourself how many organizations can you lose. You are of the same heart and mind as we are Mr. Bush. We know deep down you want to help, but feel like your hands are tied. Let me say on behalf of our organization and Conservatives everywhere, that if you intervene to save Terri's life and stand up to this judicial madness that you will be a Hero to the Conservative movement. History will remember you as brave and we will forever be grateful. So we beg and plead with you to stand up to this insanity. Save Terri's life. Prove to us all you are the leader we all believe you are.

    Michael Tosh
    President of the Society of Conservative Students (SCS)
    2nd Vice-Chair College Republicans
    Vice-President of the Newman Catholic Student Fellowship
    @ University of Illinois Springfield (UIS)

    Thursday, March 24, 2005

    Note: When this entry is actually published, a couple of these issues will be moot. Actually, only one of them - about my class today. (Actually, it's not entirely moot, considering that I still have to turn in the assignment.) Oh well...

    Note 2 - Hat Tip: This post by dear Gretchen helped spark this current blog entry.

    Update (3/25/05): I ended up missing most of last night's activities (quite unfortunately), but I am going, right now, to tonight's Good Friday event... which concludes 'Rez Week'. This should be a good experience.

    - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - Update Update: Another view regarding one of last night's activities.

    Several people here at UIS have recently started new blogs - the newest one that I know of being my housemate Jonathan Meyer's. Please check out these neat weblogs (most of the new ones that I know of are actuallly by CSF people) when you get the chance. Perhaps we should start one of those Blogosphere 'alliances,' or feed aggregators.

    Help out this blogger when you shop at!

    Focus and Concentration II

    It can be so very difficult to concentrate on course work, and on getting important tasks done, when so much else is going on in your life (and in the lives of others...). I ended up once again staying up all night, and before I can do any more blogging, I have a few more-immediate matters to attend to. Today, I need to do the following:

    - Compose an assignment for my History class [due at noon in class]
    - Complete my Applied Study Term paperwork [due quite awhile ago]
    - E-mail Ben Norquist, with a list of those coming with us to the upcoming Leadership Institute national conference
    - Snail mail (actually, Priority [snail] Mail) some stuff for CRs [before the mail service ends today]
    - Turn in my Housing Reservation Form [due today]
    - Turn in the Space Request Form for our next CR meeting [before 5 PM]
    - Definitely attend 'Coram Deo' tonight [at 9 PM] - part of 'Rez Week'
    - Sleep...? What is sleep?

    Monday, March 21, 2005

    Terri Polemics

    Having no classes today and having slept in, and being able to look out and see a sunny backyard, I consider what I'm doing now to be morning blogging (as opposed to 'late-night blogging'... which myself, and presumably many others, have become accustomed to in recent years). I fortunately have a little spare time right now, so I'm going to address some viewpoints that I just found in the Blogosphere, on the ongoing and previously-discussed case of Terri Schindler-Schiavo.

    From the trackback ping listing at this interesting BlogsforTerri post, I found this "left-wing" blog post, which directed me here, to the "Crooks and Liars" weblog.

    At first, I just wanted to respond to a couple of those above-referenced viewpoints, in regard to their characterization of the pro-Terri folks as being "the Republican Right," or "the Republican religious elite." I was thinking that it would be especially appropriate for me to respond to these claims and misconceptions, since I did that entry yesterday evening, about how liberals should also be supporting Terri's right to live. That entry was updated, with links to a blogger who describes herself as an "ardent liberal," and whose pro-Terri idea was posted at BlogsforTerri (supposedly a "Republican Right" site). I was also thinking of updating that entry with a compilation of disability-rights organizations that have taken Terri's side; perhaps I can do a later entry with this information. Also, I saw this post last night, following the House vote on the bill - Prof. Schweitzer points out how this measure had bi-partisan support. About as many House Democrats voted in favor of this bill as voted against it... And in the U.S. Senate, the bill took only a voice vote in order to pass. U.S. Senator Tom Harkin (D-IA) has been recognized for his stance in favor of Terri, and has been thanked by disability-rights organizations for his support.

    I have now addressed the attempted framing of this matter as 'left vs. right' and 'Republican vs. Democrat'... Incidently, I was just checking the weblogs of some of my fellow UIS students (several UIS people have recently started up new blogs), and I saw the latest post by another politically-knowledgable student blogger. This relates to the point I am making, since Drew is definitely not a Republican, but has taken a common-sense stand in favor of Terri.

    The two entries below will address other statements that I found among the latest posts at "Crooks and Liars".

    Terri and "the polls"

    Ever since I first got involved in a presidential election race, I've been a critic of public opinion polls... While public surveys can sometimes be reliable, many of these polls can be deceptive and misleading - the outcome of the polls can be determined by how the question is worded, by the order of the questions asked, and by a variety of other factors as well. This is true for a variety of issues, and this is something that has affected conservatives, libertarians, liberals, Republicans, Democrats, Republicans-turned-Democrat, and many others.

    Such seems to the case for the poll which I found from "Crooks and Liars," re-posted via Jesse Taylor, with their contention that "Republicans" are out of "the mainstream," due to our position in support of Terri Schiavo's right to live.

    I had seen a poll result (this one is from last August, though) that showed a contradictory outcome, and I clicked on their link, to see the poll that they were citing. This is a very recent poll... However, look how that question is worded:

    "Schiavo suffered brain damage and has been on life support for 15 years. Doctors say she has no consciousness and her condition is irreversible. Her husband and her parents disagree about whether she would have wanted to be kept alive. Florida courts have sided with the husband and her feeding tube was removed on Friday. What's your opinion on this case? Do you support or oppose the decision to remove Schiavo's feeding tube?"

    Wow. Talk about a loaded question.

    At our very-productive College Republicans meeting on February 22nd, Mike Tosh and myself spoke to the sizable group there about Terri's case, and urged them to get involved. I wrongly used the term "life support" with regard to Terri; I was immediately corrected by a couple of people in the front row. Terri has not been hooked up to any machines, and has not been on artificial life support. The only type of "life support" that she was being given was food and water, through a single tube to her stomach. Feeding a hospital patient through a stomach tube has never been considered "life support" - in the medical sense.

    The statement that she "has no consciousness" is blatantly false. Anyone can obviously see that Terri is undeniably not unconscious - many of those around her have reported that she can respond to, and interact with, other people. And the poll's claim that "Doctors say..." is misleading, since the medical experts and physicians who have studied this case are divided as to these issues. Even the CNN News program that I was watching yesterday evening acknowledged this divide. For a relatively-balanced account of this case, check out this encyclopedia article on Terri. That encyclopedia article has been debated by people on both sides of the issue, and has been edited several times, in the attempt to achieve a NPOV.

    As for the issue of whether Republicans could suffer electorally for their actions in this case, that is one thing that might actually be true - but not necessarily in the way that these liberals seem to be suggesting. I had earlier forwarded out Peggy Noonan's latest column, which says that if Terri is allowed to die be killed, then Republicans will pay a political price. This could very well end up being the case.

    But for now, that's the least of what we need to be worried about. Please keep up the praying, lobbying, polemicizing, and blogging for Terri. Let us not lose hope... Something can still be done.

    Terri and the "Righty Blogosphere"

    Among the posts at "Crooks and Liars" is this entry, which in turn references this post by another liberal blogger, who wonders why major "righty" blogs - such as Charles Johnsons' Little Green Footballs, Prof. Glenn Reynolds' InstaPundit, and the Powerline Blog have not had "a single mention of the Terri Schiavo case since the sh*t hit the fan on Friday..."

    Let me give my perspective on that. I especially want to comment on that first weblog, mentioned above... It was also referred to as a conservative blog by this "Gandhi" guy - and I wanted to respond then, but never got the chance. (Note: Looking back at Gandhi's entry, I see that he had also referred to "Roger L. Simpson" [sic] in the same sentence, also as a supposedly "right-wing blog." This is the same mistake that others have made regarding people like Joe Lieberman and Christopher Hitchens... Because someone is pro-war doesn't mean that they are conservative - it can in fact mean the opposite - read on below...)

    A couple of years ago, due to a commenter at Patrick Ruffini's blog, I found out that Charles Johnson of Little Green Footballs is regarded as "a liberal who was mugged by 9/11." Web surfers who aren't aware of his past blogging may not be aware of this, since he focuses much of his blogging on foreign policy issues, particularly those pertaining to the Middle East and Israel. In my lengthy past blog entry on the Pro-War Left, I pointed out that several of the major bloggers who supported the Iraq war and an interventionist foreign policy have been leftists.

    When the Wikipedia encyclopedia article on Little Green Footballs mistakenly identified it as a "conservative" blog, I posted a comment about that at a now-defunct popular weblog... Soon afterwards, the encyclopedia article was changed... I just checked back, and it's been changed again.

    Being a weblog that is focused mainly on foreign policy and war-related matters, it is not surprising that LGF doesn't have any commentary on Terri's case.

    The case of Prof. Glenn Reynolds (InstaPundit) is different. He is regarded as the #1 blogger on the web ("the BlogFather"), and is known as a conservative (though I've also seen him characterized as a libertarian - which would be odd, considering his foreign policy positions).

    That above-mentioned comment at Patrick Ruffini's blog was posted by another major blogger, Patio Pundit. That comment is very informative. I just looked back at it, and I see that it also mentions Prof. Reynolds, and says that he is not a conservative blogger. Perhaps his brand of foreign policy is closer to the liberal internationalism that I've been writing and commenting about at length.

    Update: I just learned some things from this encyclopedia article on Prof. Reynolds' InstaPundit weblog. It seems that the "BlogFather" supports abortion, embryonic stem cell research, and civil unions for homosexuals. So if he takes some liberal or libertarian positions on social issues, then that could explain his lack of enthusiasm for supporting Terri (a situation which he now has commented on).

    I recently saw the guys from Powerline on C-SPAN; they were discussing blogging, with regard to current affairs. I have been to their blog before (and I think that I've wanted to comment there - but they don't permit that), but I do not know that much about them, so I shouldn't say much about them not "blogging for Terri" (as so many of us have been).

    Many of those major bloggers have been writing about issues such as the Bush administration's foreign policy, and have been trying to defend this policy, especially in the wake of the 2nd anniversary of the Iraq war. But with the urgency of this situation, we need to channel our efforts on helping Terri. Those bloggers who have such a high readership should blog in support of this very-important, and very-urgent, cause. (I hope that they have the correct position on this issue...)

    Along these lines... I saw last night that some bloggers have "gone on strike" for Terri - and have decided to dedicate their blogging, during this time period, to being only about this case. I don't know how often I'll be able to blog during the next few weeks, and I am not ready, at this time, to go on strike with them, but I hope that the entries I've done on Terri have been helpful and informative.

    Thanks to all those who have been using their blogs for this noble effort... Please keep up the great work!

    Sunday, March 20, 2005

    Once again, no time for having no time

    I am not supposed to be blogging much right now... It's Spring Break, but I have been somewhat under 'house arrest,' needing to complete an assignment that is necessary for graduation.

    However, due to recent events, I need to post something here right now.

    As most of you hopefully know by now, a Florida woman, Terri Schindler-Schiavo, is in the process of being murdered - her feeding tube was removed the day before yesterday, and she may have then caught a fever due to its improper removal.

    Please do all that you can to help save Terri, before it's too late.

    Visit Terri's home page, and the great BlogsforTerri site, and follow the instructions there.

    That's all I am going to say for now... Please act at once!!

    A Liberal Perspective
    On Terri Schindler-Schiavo

    This entry is being inserted below the above one - I saved this space as a draft first, but it's being published a little while after the one right above.

    At our last College Republicans meeting, I included, on our agenda, a link to an article on the Schiavo case by principled leftist/civil libertarian writer Nat Hentoff.

    From this encyclopedia article, I saw (in the 'external links' section), that Mr. Hentoff had actuallly written a 4-part expose on this case, in which he addresses the issue of the importance of life and the rights of those who are disabled. Before our meeting, I looked for a web page that contained enumerated links to all four of Mr. Hentoff's articles in this series, but was unable to find any such pages. So, I am going to do that right now:

    Nat Hentoff's 4-part expose in the Village Voice

    A Woman's Life Versus an Inept Press, Nov. 6, 2003

    Was Terri Schiavo Beaten in 1990?, Nov. 14, 2003

    It's Not Only About Terri Schiavo, Nov. 21, 2003
    Barriers to killing come down

    The Culture of Death, Dec. 1, 2003
    Who Will Decide When You Should Die?


    Update: I just found, via Andrea and Ace, an interesting idea on this weblog:
    (It's best to go to the home page of that blog, as the pertinent entry web page doesn't seem to be loading well right now.)
    I became aware of something from the first commenter at Ace's entry about this. That blogger who has suggested this idea describes herself as "an ardent liberal," and this is just the type of perspective that I've been looking for... That commenter has his own blog, where I just saw that he's also given his perspective on this matter, urging more leftists to take Terri's side.

    I also wanted to link to this comment that I posted tonight about the ALCU and this case.

    And I just saw that there is, in fact, already a web page that does indeed contain a compilation of all four of the above-enumerated articles by Nat Hentoff. And it is at a blog too. Though, on the day of our last College Republicans meeting, which I mention above, Jonathan's entry had not yet been published [found via the Blogs for Terri feed aggregator].

    Update (9:15 PM): From this entry of Michelle Malkin, I found "Liberals for Terri. The person who operates that weblog also has another one, called "S c h i a v o g a t e."

    Also: I was pleasantly surprised, this afternoon, to hear what Ralph Nader had to say on Crossfire, where he is now apparently a sometime co-host. Congresswoman Eleanor Holmes Norton (D-D.C.) was the liberal guest, arguing against Terri, vs. conservative co-host Bob Novak and guest Dorothy Timbs, legislative counsel for National Right to Life. Nader actually favors shifting the guardianship of Terri from Michael to her parents! The transcript of today's show has already been posted online.

    After Ralph Nader made these statements, Bob Novak pointed out that Alan Dershowitz (a left-wing lawyer who I am definitely not fond of) said that the state of Florida has the right to pass that proposed law for Terri. I don't know what position Prof. Dershowitz has on Terri's case, but this is another interesting viewpoint from the Left, in support of the actions currently being undertaken in the attempt to save Terri's life.

    There are some other non-conservative viewpoints in favor of Terri, which I may later include in this entry. Here is a piece I had saved, from last month, by left-wing political commentator Bud Beck:
    Killing Terri Schiavo is not a partisan issue

    And from the father of American Old Right libertarianism, the eminent Prof. Rothbard - a great article from July 1991:
    The Right to Kill, with Dignity?
    [Dr. Rothard's 1991 article on the Helga Wanglie case]

    Update: Via this recent entry at ProLifeBlogs, I have come across this excellent post:
    Terri Schiavo is not about Left versus Right

    And from the sidebar aggregator at ProLifeBlogs, I found the following pertinent blog entries:

    - Let Schiavo Live - Ralph Nader (and Wesley Smith)

    - Terri's Supporters Are All Fundamentalist Christian, Far Right Republican, Anti-choice Oppressors, Redneck Conspiracy-Theorist, Fascist Kooks....NOT!
    (a good compilation... Wow - Barbara Mikulski... and she agrees with her former opponent on this issue!)

    - Reconsidering being a Republican

    - Update Update: The great Sounding the Trumpet weblog has had some good posts, relevant to this particular issue:
    - Ralph Nader: Don't Let Terri Die!
    - From another recent entry of his (there are many good ones there), I found an important and very-interesting Bob Novak column, which I had unfortunately missed:
    Schiavo case divides the Right and the Left

    Saturday, March 19, 2005

    I Love A Parade

    I have saved several entries as drafts, to be published below - These will be entries regarding important anniversaries that have occurred within the past few days. Today, I participated in an important annual event in Springfield - the St. Patrick's Day Parade. []

    I've done entries before about this event, so for tradition's sake, I thought I should this year as well. Today, I walked for a candidate for a Township Trustee position. Contrary to what many people think, local elections are actually quite important - these types of races can end up having a greater direct impact on our immediate and everyday lives than the bigger elections can. Plus, city elections involve fewer voters, so a small number of people [or, a certain student group or groups, for that matter] can provide the pivotal factor that can make or break a candidacy.

    Today is also the anniversary of another very important event... One that I've devoted many of these blog entries to covering.

    I was just looking for a past entry that I had seen by conservative leader Dan Flynn, which could concisely summarize my feelings regarding this matter. But Mr. Flynn just has so many good posts on this issue, and I'm not going to try to find that particular post. I will be providing more material on this matter here shortly.

    Friday, March 11, 2005


    ¡Somos todos los españoles!

    Sunday, March 06, 2005

    The Old Right meets Harlem

    Oprah Winfrey Presents... - - ABC just finished showing their feature film, Their Eyes Were Watching God. I don't know how many of you saw it (it is presented by Oprah Winfrey, and stars Halle Berry), but I am more interested in the author of the famous novel upon which this film is based.

    When I saw a preview of this new ABC film, and with it being Black History Month at the time, I thought that I should do a blog entry about Zora Neale Hurston, with regard to her little-known advocacy of traditionalist conservatism. I would not be aware of this interesting and apparently-suppressed fact about this literary great if it hadn't been for an article I read by young conservative/libertarian Marcus Epstein, in an issue of The American Conservative.

    I will write more about this later... Right now, I'm watching the WAND TV news, on that same station (it is at 10:30 tonight, due to the movie). Liz Eliers and her famous "Gospel Dog" (Wolfgang, the dog that sings gospel music) are going to be on the news, at any moment. Gotta go...