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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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    Tuesday, May 31, 2005

    Aakash, 'popping back in' again...

    That old 'mainstream' media

    I was just IMing with another College Republican blogger who I recently came across (still need to add that site to the blogroll over there)... about this recent Watergate "Deep Throat" news.

    I wish that this had happened on a different day. Today was the day when the official funeral ceremony was held for Colonel David Hackworth, who I've discussed in my past couple of entries (as well as in several of my past posts here, over the years, and elsewhere on the web - and in person).

    But then again, I doubt that the media would give much coverage to this important event, anyway. I don't recall seeing a single mention of Colonel Hackworth on the television news since he passed away, earlier this month.

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


    The legendary American war hero and true "soldier's soldier" was buried today at Arlington National Cemetery, with full military honors. I wish I had been blogging more about this within the past couple of weeks. As I noted below, the Colonel meant so much to us - military, ex-military, and non-military alike.

    ||| Hackworth.com ||| SFTT.org |||


    Latest articles: [Google News] [Yahoo! News]


    Eilhys England Hackworth at funeral

    I just saw, from that Yahoo! News search, that they have photos from the military funeral ceremony today. For something as important as this, especially in the times we are currently in, this should have been televised on the news (or at least on C-SPAN)!!



    [Late] Breaking news...

    "Deep Throat" has finally been revealed...

    washingtonpost.com


    Update (6/1/05): Just posted this comment at the relevant entry from Citizen Smash, where they are discussing the meaningfulness of Watergate:

    Ben Stein just wrote an article about this matter, in the wake of the recent revelations:

    Deep Throat and Genocide
    http://www.spectator.org/dsp_article.asp?art_id=8242

    [ Via Ronald J. Watkins' site, found via one of the Adsense ads at the 'Diggers Realm' blog (which I found rather recently, and went back to just now, for their pertinent entry on this topic) ]

    And while we're discussing Watergate, and its meaning, I suggest you read this column by the White House staffer who served President Nixon the longest, published shortly after he was accused of being "Deep Throat":

    http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/news/701183/posts


    I was recently thinking about how unfortunate it is that the prevailing view of certain presidencies - such as those of Richard Nixon and Abraham Lincoln - is different from how those periods actually were. It is unfortunate how much the truth can get hidden, in the midst of reactionary emotionalism and cutthroat politics.




    Update (6/4/05): I just found a new article by the aforementioned Nixon Administration official and former 'Deep Throat' suspect, which is currently the top item at the home page of Human Events.

    [Hat tip: The Yellow Line, where I originally found the article, at the Chicago Tribune's website.]


    Monday, May 30, 2005

    Memorial Day 2005


    Check out the great Military.com site:

    Military.com's special Memorial Day section
    Remember and honor the sacrifices and commitment of our nation's servicemembers and veterans this Memorial Day Weekend.
    Visit our Memorial Day Tribute...


    Blogs of War has links to some other good resources for this special day.

    In the past, I've shared with some people a special story that was published around the time of the start of "Operation Iraqi Freedom"... Though it's been re-designed since then, 'Blogs of War' was one of the weblogs where I posted a link to that story, as a comment. Here is that poignant piece:

    The Wall
    by Alfred A. Hambidge, Jr.

    This is a very moving piece, which symbolizes the feelings of many of our veterans, and many of our fellow citizens, at a time like this. For today, it is especially appropriate. 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.

    Or at least I used to be able to say that, before he passed away earlier this month... Check out the paragraphs that I recently inserted into my last entry here, before my guest bloggers took over. It was very upsetting for many of us to have heard this sudden news; "Hack" was viewed by so many of us - soldier and non-soldier - as such an immensely heroic (and even legendary) figure in our nation's modern military tradition, someone who we could learn a great deal from (whether we are active military, veteran, or civilian).

    Soldiers for the Truth - www.sftt.org
    Colonel Hackworth - www.hackworth.com
    Latest news and opinion articles: Google News ||| Yahoo! News

    I am still planning to do my eulogy entry for Colonel Hackworth... I've done those types of blog entries for others who have passed away, but perhaps none so heroic as Hack.


    I will soon update this entry with links to my pertinent posts from previous years (how alliterative!), and also to an excellent past entry by conservative blogger (and former Springfieldian!) Jenn Martinez, that I had been meaning to link to, but I don't know if I had ever gotten around to it. It cited Joe Galloway, the renowned patriotic war reporter, who co-authored the book that was made into the famous Mel Gibson war movie, We Were Soldiers. Mr. Galloway's recent commentaries, about the Iraq war, and the way that our government leaders have been managing our foreign policy, are very good.

    I have also saved another entry, as a draft below, where I'll insert some of the more recent news and opinion pieces on Memorial Day, and on the related issues facing our nation's heroic current & former servicemembers and military families.

    I am still going to be quite busy for the next week or so... In addition to the fact that I have some incomplete academic business to take care of (will that ever get over?!?), I started a new summer job; it seems to be going well.

    For such a special occasion such as this, I am glad to have been able to have returned to this weblog... The hit count has been very high during the past few days, and I am glad that others have been able to guest blog here - I will have guest bloggers here for about two weeks more or so - I may pop in again during that time as well. Thank you, Nathan, James, and "Erundur," for your excellent posts here, and please keep up the good work.


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

    Also - Shown tonight on PAX: (Their Memorial Day Special)
    Desmond T. Doss
    The Consciencious Objector
    The Documentary Of Private 1st Class Desmond T. Doss

    A young soldier overcomes the stigma of being a conscientious objector at a time when they were labeled as cowards.

    "Through faith and determination, he met every challenge placed in his way to earn the admiration of the Army and a Nation in being awarded America's highest military distinction... 'THE CONGRESSIONAL MEDAL OF HONOR' "


    Documentary film website at: www.desmonddoss.com


    Update (11:09 PM): Nightline is once again showing a moving presentation honoring "The Fallen" - those brave servicemen and women who were killed in Afghanistan and Iraq.

    Update 2 (5/31/05): Via John Cole's entry, I found this post by Tacitus, who I'm glad to see it still blogging.


    Thursday, May 26, 2005

    Hello all, I'm guest-blogging here at Aakash's request. I hope you find my words of interest and value. Please feel free to leave comments and spur a discussion. That said, on with the post.
    -------------------

    Through the ups and downs, the darkness in the valleys, and the light on the high mounts, I've given up many times lately in small ways. I've lost focus and let my desires and my sin blind me to the truth. Yet God still loves me and wants better for me.

    Through his grace he's showed me a couple verses I'd like to share here. I read these verses on a couple different days last week. The following verse is in the context of God speaking to Ananias about Paul and what Paul's purpose in His kingdom would be.

    Acts 9:15-16:
    But the Lord said to him, "Go, for he is a chosen instrument of mine to carry my name before the Gentiles and kings and the children of Israel. For I will show him how much he must suffer for the sake of my name."


    The following verses are written by Paul in his letter to the Romans and he discusses part of what his purpose is.

    Romans 15:20-21
    ...and thus I make it my ambition to preach the gospel, not where Christ has already been named, lest I build on someone else's foundation, but as it is written, "Those who have never been told of him will see, and those who have never heard will understand."


    Reading these verses, I feel blessed. I've been honored by God through his gift of life -- I don't deserve it. I've never earned it and never will. As far as God is concerned, my sins count against me as bad as Paul's did. Paul plotted, schemed, and killed men and women who followed Christianity in its earliest days. Then, God forgave him.

    It is the same for all of us... we've all been given more than we could ever deserve. He's given us a kind of love we can't fully imagine. We see glimpses of God's love through parents, family, friends, spouses, and even strangers; however, it is important to remember God will never let us down and will never leave us even though the people who love us most in this lifetime do.

    Paul's new life involved a mission of love. Out of his love for God and his desire to share it with the world, he gained a new ambition. Initially, his ambition was to murder as part of his religious duty to perserve the ways of the Pharisees, but after his conversion he lived with an ambition to share God's word that others might know and love God, too.

    God loves you. It's not just a game. It's not just a joke. It's not like a high-school romance. It's real, it's deep, it's sincere. God wants to love you, he wants you to know him, and he wants others to have the same opportunity you do.

    --------

    On the note of taking the word of God to people who have never heard it and have no foundation for truth, I invite you to check out a project by an organization I learned about last summer, Wycliffe Bible Translators. They have a project called Vision 2025. The "vision" is the translation of the Bible into every language currently spoken on earth by the year 2025.


    Erundur is a conservative Christian who hopes to live his life with faith, hope, and love, and to impact the world with truth.


    Wednesday, May 25, 2005

    I appreciate Aakash’s invitation to guest blog here. As he noted in his last post, Aakash and I met at last summer’s National Conservative Student Conference in Washington. On the first day of that conference, after a speech by Ron Robinson, Aakash asked the YAF president some pertinent questions about the speaker lineup and its seeming domination by the neoconservatives and other apologists for the burgeoning US empire. Robinson stumbled around a bit, but the tone for the week had been set – later that day Aakash pressed Nigel Ashford for answers following his speech on the different schools of conservatism (which included global democracy as a valid conservative agenda) sending a clear message to all the lock-step Republican partisans and establishment conservatives assembled: the Old Right lives!

    It might be hard to believe amongst the incessant pro-Bush/pro-Iraq war/pro-“war on terror” apologias pouring forth from talk radio, but there are still vestiges of the anti-New Deal/non-interventionist Right in America. The American Conservative, The New American, LewRockwell.com, and AntiWar.com are just a few of the places where you can still find criticisms of FDR, Harry Truman, Woodrow Wilson, and Abraham Lincoln. These days, what “conservatism” stands for is nothing more than “conserving” the big government legacy of FDR (complete with a Republican President wanting to “save social security”), the internationalism of Wilson and Truman, and Lincoln’s value of federalism.

    Aakash has written about the lack of traditionalist conservatism within our generation and it is an issue of great concern to me. The battle for the future of this country is not going to be decided along party lines – the national GOP and the Democrats do not differ largely on the proper role of the federal government or, despite the claims of Sean Hannity, on foreign policy. Recall that 2004 Democratic Presidential candidate, John Kerry along with the majority of his partisan colleagues, voted to cede Congress’ constitutional responsibility to declare war, giving it illegally to George W. Bush and the executive branch. Similarly, likely 2008 Democrat nominee Hillary Clinton has not expressed any misgivings about our mission to democratize the Middle East. Indeed, on Saturday night, former Senator Zell Miller, appearing on the Jim Bohannon Show, praised the junior Senator from New York for her “tough stand” on Iraq and the “war on terror.”

    Some liberals have rediscovered the case for states’ rights after California’s medical marijuana law and other “progressive” local policies have come under attack form the federal government. However, this newfound respect for the 10th Amendment has more to do with political expediency than principle – after all, many of these same people support restrictions on the 2nd Amendment rights and the constitutional law abomination known as Roe v. Wade.

    Contrary to the conventional wisdom, this country’s direction – towards further empire or a return to the Old Republic – does not depend on whether or not the Democrats “reinvent” themselves because the establishment left – aside from complaining about “unilateralism” and demanding the involvement of the international community – does not have any qualms with Bush’s Wilsonian adventures in Iraq and Afghanistan.

    Alas, whether or not we descend further into empire and overextension depends on who wins the battle for the heart and soul of the American Right. Friends, it is past time for this generation of conservatives to rediscover Russell Kirk, John T. Flynn, and Garet Garrett, repudiate Roosevelt, reject Truman, turn away from Wilson, and expose Lincoln – the fate of American liberty is quite literally in the balance.


    James Lawrence (email him here, AIM: ncsu2k7) is a junior majoring in biomedical engineering and political science at North Carolina State University in Raleigh. With his friend Anthony Galasso, he is the co-administrator of The Last Angry Men, a blog dedicated to advancing the Old American right wing tradition: individual liberty, state sovereignty, and decentralization.


    Friday, May 20, 2005

    Some Exciting Announcements

    First things first: Thank you, Nathan Averbeck, for being able to guest blog here after all... In my Mother's Day entry below, I said that I had asked some of the new bloggers from my university if they could guest blog during this troubling time period, but they weren't able to, and I didn't think that Nate would be able to now either... But apparently his semester had already ended - He came through for me again.

    (My original intent was to turn this blog over to Nathan, after posting something about the surprising passing of Colonel David Hackworth, someone who I've blogged and written about many times before... I've been criticized for this more than once... by bloggers such as Scott Koenig and Deskmerk, the latter of whom even wondered whether I may be working for the Colonel; I kind of wish that that had been true - at least then, I'd have had a chance to have communicated with him first-hand (before his sudden death). It was heartening to see some of the tributes in the Blogosphere for Hack, even by those who disagree with him. And my favorite miliblogger who served in the current Iraq war, and who supported that war [i.e. - my favorite "Operation Iraqi Freedom" soldier blogger aside from El Cid], has re-subtitled his well-known weblog [featured in that USA Today article], in regards to this - that was refreshing to notice. However, I unfortunately did not get around to posting that entry on the famous American war hero and soldiers' advocate... So Nathan thankfully took charge, and was able to guest blog before leaving for vacation.)

    I am in a major time crunch right now (well, this whole semester academic year has been like that...). Graduation was on Saturday, May 7th, which was also the day of the official end of the semester. However, the degrees will not be finalized until about a week from now - so I have a tiny amount of time to get in a large amount of course work, if I want to get a Minor in History, in addition to my Major (in Political Studies).

    I am fortunate enough to have several people who can take over for me here, while I'm swamped for the next week or two. 'Erundur,' one of the bloggers at the now-closed 'A Blog Apart' web publication, who had a weblog of his own, also now closed, has agreed to guest blog here, during this time. I don't know much about Erundur, other than that he's a conservative Christian - someone who I met when I decided to IM with a couple of the writers at 'A Blog Apart'... Check out this entry that I wrote (when I was a guest blogger) at 'Deux Ego', on Jason Wall, who was an editor of that publication.

    In addition to 'Erundur,' there is someone else who will be guest blogging here - a fellow conservative collegian, who is [thankfully!] one of those pesky ;-) traditionalist conservatives... Which I've been lamenting that our generation has far two few of. This is one of the things I've been most frustated about - well, I've actually been upset about the lack of this within the overall conservative movement, and Republican Party... as those who know me from the Blogosphere may have assumed by now. Those who were at last summer's National Conservative Student Conference may know that about me as well (hi, Ed! - I wish I'd known sooner that you had a blog... Sorry about never responding to your e-mail after the conference ;-) - In fact, that's where and how I met this traditionalist conservative college student, James Lawrence of North Carolina. When I met James at the conference, he was with Anthony Gallaso - it was the three of us who ganged up on Rich Lowry there (as I mentioned in this post). Like with Edward Sanders, I just recently discovered that James and Anthony have their own blog as well, which they started over the winter.

    Speaking of college students who have recently started weblogs, I mentioned in my last post that during this past semester, there were a bunch of students from my university who started their own weblogs... I noted that in the previous semester, the UIS Admissions Department set up some official "UIS Bloggers" - several of them seem to have soon after lost interest... The university has restrictions on what they can post on those blogs, since they are representing the student body. The newfangled UIS people who started their own blogs, however, are on their own - like I've been since the Fall 2002 semester. I had asked a few of them if they wanted to guest blog, since I thought that would be neat (a chance to have my fellow UIS students get their writing in front of a larger audience), but they were busy during Finals Week, just as I was. The entry below this one lists the new UIS bloggers, and I suggest the possibily of setting up some sort of syndicated feed displayer (sorry, I don't know a better term for it - would "aggregator" apply to this type of thing [described below]?) - Maybe that'll be something I can do when I have more time, which at the rate things are going, should be... never.


    Another first for University Blog

    When Nathan Averbeck was able to guest blog for me this winter, it was the first time that that neat Blogosphere activity was implemented at this site. Now, with 'Erundur,' James, and Anthony set up to guest blog here (and Nate is free to continue as well, though I don't know when he'll be back home), this will be the first time that this weblog has hosted multiple guest bloggers at the same time.

    For any of you who were interested in guest blogging here, and who I haven't mentioned above - this may not be the last time that I will need guest bloggers; I'll be in Graduate School next year, and I've been re-elected as Chairman of the CRs, and I should be working at that time as well... So there should be other opportunities in the future.

    Now, I'm off to burn myself out, or something like that... But before I got, I want to leave you with some recent writings that I've come across, that I feel that I really need to share.

    It's time to bring back Bricker
    Mr. Nathan Tabor just became one of my favorite conservative columnists... Can you imagine a more-'major' writer or political commentator writing something like this? The only other columnist who I've seen take this position is anti-war conservative/libertarian Justin Raimondo, around the time that he was the Republican nominee for U.S. Congress (against Nancy Pelosi!). I had already added Mr. Tabor to my sidebar, possibly because he was a younger conservative writer, and because I saw an excellent column that he had written on the immigration issue. I was thrilled to see Mr. Tabor's latest article in my inbox - It prompted me to look up some info on this Amendment, which came so close to passing. I mean, if it had passed, we may not have to have the current debate over CAFTA or the FTAA, or LOST, aka. UNLOST, which Mr. Tabor has also written about. And there might be no NAFTA or GATT, and other [already-]unconstitutional agreements that violate our national sovereignty, and our founding principles of republican liberty. Perhaps when Mr. Tabor is elected to the U.S. Senate (he was a candidate for Congress in the last election), and when I am elected to the U.S. House of Representatives (!?!?), we can finally push that sucker through.


    Don't Scapegoat Newsweek - Keep Our Eyes on the Ball
    The 'GOP Bloggers' site seems to be much fairer than the 'Blogs for Bush' site, which I recently saw is also known as 'Kool-Aid Central'... Well, both parties have their share of 'Kool-Aid sippers.'

    Two great articles by Mary Mostert, who runs Banner of Liberty (formerly, Original Sources):

    Is Koran flushing worse desecration than blowing up Christian churches?

    When I saw the title of this article at Alan Keyes' Renew America site, I suspected that it would be on that topic... one that I've certainly opined about before! While Mary is wrong on Iraq, she's been great on that previous war. And speaking of Ambassador Keyes, see his thoughts on this issue here, here, here, and here.

    Correcting the lies about a great WW II hero (another recent analysis by Mary Mostert)


    Bush buries the shame of Yalta
    Phyllis Schlafly (the First Lady of American Conservatism) on the Yalta betrayal
    I wish I had more time, so that I could blog about the recent WWII brouhaha, and the Newsweek mess, and...


    One last thing

    The entry below this one is a [comprehensive?] enumeration of the newfangled UIS people who've chosen to enter the mad world of the Blogosphere. I wish I had been able to post it earlier, when this was still fresh... Perhaps it'll get us all some hits anyway.


    One last Last thing

    I forgot to mention that I just updated the home page of the 'Complete Clinton Calendar, which I've previous said is one of the best contemporary documents that I've ever come across. It was was created by Rising Tide, and posted at the website of the Republican National Committee (back when that highly-acclaimed website had a spine, and when the organization had at least half of one). The Clinton Calendar apparently stopped being published after Slick Willie's first term, and it disappeared from the RNC's site, but I had saved it on my computer - back when I was in high school - and I published it online more recently, adding my own web link annotations within the text. By now, some of those links are probably broken, which will have to be taken care of, but for the time being, I updated the Calendar's home page, which I saw hadn't been changed since October 2002, around the time that I first put it up. I was surprised when I checked the hit counter on that page, and saw a steady stream of hits for it.

    The Complete Clinton Calendar
    Scandal by scandal, flip-flop by flip-flop, lie after lie, crime after crime... A chronological account of Bill & Hill's first term.

    I changed the mention of me as "Secretary" of the College Republicans to "Chairman," and I also added a little something else to that home page... Something I'm not allowed to discuss here, but which I need to have on as many of my web pages as possible. And I want to thank whoever it was who was kind enough to purchase an item through my previously-discussed Amazon.com 'Associate' account. That one, I am allowed to mention, which I've been trying to do lately, even though it hadn't resulted in a single purchase (other than myself & my mom) until now. Thank you to whoever purchased a book using my Associate code, and I also want to thank Elise Bauer (once again) for her great entry with some very-helpful information. Time isn't the only thing that I'm short on right now...



    My Good Deed of the Night
    (see the previous entry for my 'good deed' of the day)



    The Mother of All Blogrolls
    For UIS, that is


    As mentioned in my entry above (if you're reading this before it's posted, it will be soon - it will be my last post before new guest bloggers take over), here is the listing of the new - and a couple old - UIS bloggers.


    Matt Wallace (One very cool CSFer... and CR!)

    Matt Wallace

    Hal Waggoner ('The Kingdom of Hickdom')

    Nanette Turner (Also a CSFer and CR, but has been studying abroad for awhile now.)

    Mike Tosh (Him and I cause trouble for the Left - on campus, and elsewhere)

    Eric Michael Tosh

    K. J. Reid (I don't even know him... 'Master of Rants')

    Cat Morrison (I was there when she was baptized!)

    Gretchen MacGruder (Not a student, but a leader of CSF here at at UIS)

    Jonathan Meyer (All Your Base)

    Jonathan... Jonathan!

    Drew Hibbard (Drew's a Dem! - But we love him anyway...)

    T. J. (Just 'T.J.' for now... He's a cool CR as well. And also like Matt above, he is a Cardinals fan!!)

    Brad Buckingham (He is not from England.)

    Jeff Black (Now, he knows about computers... And he was housemates with Mike - BTW, I was housemates with Jonathan.)


    'The Real Deal' (The UIS UIS Bloggers)

    Gabrielle Wiegand
    Kymeicko Williams
    John Kelly
    Jason Kennedy
    Kate Johnson
    Alicia Barrese

    Those last six blogs were the official 'UIS Bloggers,' which I discussed here and here.

    And the only ongoing student weblog from here that's been running longer than mine:
    The Wily Beaver

    And, last, but certainly not least (far from it, in fact), from the 'Glenn Reynolds' of UIS (who by the way, is also both a CSFer and a CR):
    TwoSouth.com
    (now with it's own blog!)


    I wish I'd done an entry like this sooner, but I am going to participate in the 'Happy Monday' New Blog Showcase thing... and will trackback to here and here. Please read those entries to find out what that's about.

    Note: I see, from the latest post at 'Steal the Bandwagon', that this is going to be an ongoing project - one of those 'carnival' things, and Jody is going to be hosting it on Monday. Despite being, well - you know... I plan to participate. This will be the first time that I've taken part in one of these events.

    "New Blog Showcase"
    (Monday, y'all's blogs will be put on the runway)

    Hopefully, this will get the above-mentioned bloggers some unprecendented exposure and readership... an 'Aakashlanche'? :-)
    [If you don't understand that term, see my entry below...]



    Update (5/23/05): I wasn't sure if it was going to be allowed, but thankfully, Jody Becker did include this entry in this section of the 'New Blog Showcase' listings in her post. Thank you so much, Jody!

    ...Adding 'Stealing the Bandwagon' to my blogroll, and to the 'Blogs of the Week' list at the top of my sidebar (before pinging to that Showcase entry, and to here.)




    You are a child of mine...

    If any of the aforementioned bloggers (or anyone else in the Blogosphere) was inspired to create their weblogs due to mine, then I would appreciate it if you would express that through BlogTree.com, which I recently found has been re-started. (It was down when I did this entry about Josh Claybourn... As I note there, my blog is a 'child' of his.)
    Note: I just went to that site, and saw that once again, it is down, due to bandwith overload. Hopefully, it'll be up again soon, without have lost any of our blog 'geneology' records.

    BlogTree.com Update (6/4/05): I just checked, and BlogTree.com is back up... That may have just been a temporary thing. So, Jonathan, (Mike?), and whoever else whose weblog this may apply to - If you would sign up there, that would be cool.


    A UIS Bloggers' Syndicate?

    If I knew how to do so, and if I wasn't in the aforementioned/above-mentioned crunch, I might set up a weblog feed reader and displayer, for these UIS bloggers; Patrick Carver once showed me a no-longer-operating page where I think Fredrik Norman displayed the content of 'Liberty Loggers' (or it could have been someone else). But I don't know if any of the above-mentioned bloggers has syndicated their weblogs. [Note: My blog's RSS feed has changed since that entry; it is now here.] And even if they had... well, I barely have the time to write this entry, and set things up for my guest bloggers.

    Things may get better before too long. But then again...



    My Good Deed of the Day Night/Morning

    Just a little bit closer...

    He's closer to an Instalanche than many of us will likely ever be (though, there's always hope...), but when I saw his predicament, I thought to myself - could there be a way of helping Harvey out, so that his 'Bad Example' would be boosted to #1 in the "chaff"?

    An Indirect Instalanche

    Some of you reading this may not be familiar with the term "Instalanche." Though it may not be in the dictionary yet, the best free encylopedia in the world has an entry for it (or so I thought... It actually just redirects; try this). The documentary is still in the making.

    While there's nothing like the real thing [isn't that right, Mr. (and Mrs.!) Spoons?], an 'indirect Instalanche' (or an "Instalanche, once removed"?) is better than most bloggers will ever be able to brag about. If a bunch of people do this, the more likely it'll be that the filthy lies of Glenn Reynolds will google-bomb an indirect Instalanche for Harvey.


    filthy lies Glenn Reynolds ~ filthy lies Glenn Reynolds ~ filthy lies Glenn Reynolds
    Glenn Reynolds filthy lies ~ Glenn Reynolds filthy lies ~ Glenn Reynolds filthy lies
    filthy lies Glenn Reynolds ~ filthy lies Glenn Reynolds ~ filthy lies Glenn Reynolds




    Update: Great minds think alike!


    Update (5/29/05): After getting many hits - and still getting them - due to the trackback ping I did, when I added a link within this entry (after I found that I couldn't trackback to the other Spoons entry)... I am also going to place this post within Kevin's trackback carnival, which I found last night.

    Now, off to church...


    Friday, May 13, 2005

    Hey guys! It’s me, Nate, again. Aakash is uber-busy, so I’m here filling in again, though I don’t know how much help I’ll be because I’m leaving for a weeklong vacation in the morning. Oh well. Never look a gift horse in the mouth, I suppose.

    Before I begin, let me just say congrats to all the 2004-2005 graduates! (Especially to my brother, Matt Averbeck—LLCC Student of the Year and graduation speaker—seen briefly on the Channel 20 News. You rock, buddy!)

    My other posts were met with a rather warm reception, though I’m not quite sure how this one will fare. Aakash hinted that I should do a post on the topic of creation and evolution, since it is something of a favorite for me. (Hey, you! Did you just roll your eyes? If you think this is moot point, read on.)

    But, it’s been a busy week (not to mention the fact that my hours of sleep are ticking away as we speak), so this entry will have to be a little on the light side. Forgive me if it has the rushed, “I typed it in twenty minutes” feel. That would be a gross misstatement, and I’m sorry if that is the impression it gives you.

    It actually took about thirty five. (Ok, no more tangents or lame humor! I promise!)

    Although I’m about to approach this discussion from the standpoint that the reader agrees with me on the basic tenets of Christianity, I do not actually assume that to be true for everyone. If you happen to find this post totally irrelevant to your beliefs…

    Well, I’m sorry. Freedom of speech and that sort of thing—you understand. The show must go on. (Does this constitute a tangent? I apologize.)

    And now to my point. Even in conservative crowds, the deadly theology of compromise—especially with respect to origins—has slowly snuck in. The creation versus evolution debate rages even between Christians, and I could only wish that I could defend my views in a single document. I’m not attempting to conquer a mammoth with a single strike—however, I do want you (especially you eye-rollers from before) to see why this topic is so critically important. People say “Instead of the ages of rocks, consider the Rock of Ages.” While that’s cute and all, it dodges the point. Although your interpretation of Genesis is not directly related to your salvation, it can have immense consequences.

    The Divine Inspiration of the Bible
    If you’re willing to deny that the Bible is a work of God, you may find yourself saying, “...then maybe there are other untruths or mistakes contained in it. Maybe Jesus wasn't actually born of a virgin. Maybe he never actually rose from the dead. I guess I don't really need to follow the morals he gave, either.” You think that’s an exaggeration? I would, too, if I didn’t see people living like that every day.


    The Straightforward Understanding of the Bible--
    Maybe you’ll be tempted to say, “Maybe sin, Satan, and hell are just metaphorical.” Another exaggeration? Hardly. A recent polls suggest that more than ever before, Christians are willing to dismiss the concepts of Satan, demons, and hell as a mere word game. Remember: interpret scripture literally whenever possible, and always use scripture to interpret scripture.

    The Need for Restoration--
    Death is an integral part of evolution, as evidenced by Darwin’s theory of survival of the fittest. However, “The last enemy that shall be destroyed is death” (I Corinthians 15:26). You think God created a perfect creation that included death and then decided that part of His creation was the enemy? That’s quite illogical, wouldn’t you agree?

    Clear Evidence of God in His Work--
    Romans 1:20 "For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse. . ." If it is so obvious that God created, we shouldn't be able to explain it through evolution. Personally, I think evolution does a horrible job explaining the complexity around us. There are many systems in nature which are said to be “irreducibly complex.” In other words, they couldn’t have functioned without every single piece of the system present (think of a standard mousetrap with five pieces—try to build one with only four). And Darwinism, I’m told, says that useless traits or features (like a four-piece almost-complete-but-not-yet-working mousetrap) would be weeded out. All pieces would have had to appear all at once, the chances of which are… well… nil. For more information, see Michael Behe’s book, Darwin’s Black Box.

    The Credibility of Jesus--
    Jesus quoted Genesis numerous (40+) times. If Genesis is as fraught with error as some people think, I doubt Jesus would have considered it such a sturdy base for argument.

    The Rest of the Bible--
    All New Testament books quote or allude to Genesis. So, the writers of the New Testament figuratively built a foundation on Genesis. And, just like a house, these foundations cannot be compromised without losing the integrity of the structure.

    Hebrews 11:7 says this: “By faith Noah, being warned of God of things not seen as yet, moved with fear, prepared an ark to the saving of his house; by the which he condemned the world, and became heir of the righteousness which is by faith.” However, evolutionary belief requires that Noah’s flood is just a fairy tail or a “local flood.” How can these views be reconciled?

    In Matthew 19:4, we read “And he [Jesus] answered and said unto them, Have ye not read, that he which made them at the beginning made them male and female. . .” Evolutionary theory, however, requires that gender was developed through natural processes, and certainly not “in the beginning,” when single-cell life supposedly dominated the planet.

    Then in the next verse, concerning divorce, Jesus quotes Genesis 2:24.

    In other words, you have to throw out more than just Genesis. If you pull out every New Testament book that references Genesis, you will have to take out pretty much the entire New Testament (and let me tell you from experience—reading genealogies is not especially invigorating). So do yourself a favor and keep your Bible intact.

    The Whole Point of the Gospel-- “For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive” (I Corinthians 15:22). “And so it is written, The first man Adam was made a living soul; the last Adam [Christ] was made a quickening spirit” (I Corinthians 15:45). If Adam did not introduce sin to the world, then Jesus had no purpose in coming to earth to save us from death! Think I’m exaggerating again? Let’s ask an objective bystander. From G. Richard Bozarth in American Atheist:

    “Christianity is - must be! - totally committed to the special creation as described in Genesis, and Christianity must fight with its full might against the theory of evolution. And here is why. In Romans we read that ‘sin entered the world through one man, and through sin - death, and thus death has spread through the whole human race because everyone has sinned.’ (Romans 5:12) ...the whole justification of Jesus' life and death is predicated on the existence of Adam and the forbidden fruit he and Eve ate. Without the original sin, who needs to be redeemed? Without Adam's fall into a life of constant sin terminated by death, what purpose is there to Christianity? None. Even a high school student knows enough about evolution to know that nowhere in the evolutionary description of our origins does there appear an Adam or an Eve or an Eden or a forbidden fruit. Evolution means a development from one form to the next to meet the ever-changing challenges from an ever-changing nature. There is no fall from a previous state of sublime perfection. Without Adam, without the original sin, Jesus Christ is reduced to a man with a mission on a wrong planet!”

    (G. Richard Bozarth, “The Meaning of Evolution,” The American Atheist, September, 1978, p. 19.)

    Your SalvationBut didn’t I say your salvation didn’t depend on Genesis? Listen to this: “Up to 30,000 people a night would flock to hear Canadian evangelist Charles Templeton who, in his heyday, was more famous than his team-mate at the time, Billy Graham. Thousands professed to have found salvation in Christ through Templeton’s preaching.”

    Then in time, things changed. Doubts entered his heart as disease gripped his mind. To make a long story short, he wrote Farewell to God: My reasons for rejecting the Christian faith and died an atheist. It’s not that God rejected him—he rejected God!

    So, are the consequences serious? You bet. Are people watching us Christians to see how we respond to evolution? You bet. Let’s develop some spine and stop compromising the Word of God.



    Anyway, hope you liked it or at least learned something.

    Questions? Comments?

    nathan@limitsummation.org

    AIM: WolfTecc


    Hatemail?

    kim.jong.il@korea-dpr.com (Wait, was that lame humor?)

    Nathan

    (Certain ideas borrowed from Answers in Genesis, www.answersingenesis.org. Wish I had time to find the specific link…)



    Sunday, May 08, 2005


    Help out this blogger by doing your Mother's Day shopping (or whatever else...) through Amazon.com!



    Happy Mother's Day

    Last year, I didn't end up posting anything for this occasion, even though I had wanted to... But then, I actually have a backlog of potential entries that were never shared that runs back even farther than that. Right now, time remains tight... Even though the semester officially ended yesterday (and I graduated!), I still have a great deal of incomplete work that I need to submit, which could affect my degree. [I asked a couple of the newfangled UIS student bloggers if they wanted to guest-blog during this period... Within recent months, there's been a rash of UIS students starting their own weblogs... After having failed to be reading mine the past two years ;-) - Those who I've asked so far don't think they'll be able to guest blog, though. I can ask Nathan again, but he might have finals at LLCC around this time.] I didn't want this day to go by without blogging for it, though... I've saved several draft posts below, for later publication. For this moment, however, here's what I've got:


    M is for the million things she gave me.
    O means only that she's growing old
    T is for the tears ere shed to save me
    H is for her heart of purest gold
    E is for her eyes with lovelight shining
    R means right and right she'll always be

    Put them all together, they spell MOTHER - A word that means the world to me!


    Written by Howard Johnson in 1915; music by Theodore F. Morse




    Blogosphere Moms


    Update (5/10/05): I didn't know if Gennie was a mother; I had thought of checking her weblog, but I haven't done so until now. (And I just did, but only after I got a hit here from her blog... How selfish of me!) As it turns out, not only is Gennie a mother, she has a lot of material up at her weblog for Mother's Day, and it's still the top entry there. Here is the permalink for her top entry; she has asked those of us who did Mother's Day blogging to ping that post. I will do so now.



    Last night, I had a chance to IM with Pieter Friedrich, the young conservative blogger and writer whose 'Deux Ego' weblog I had temporarily co-blogged at awhile back. He had to get up early this morning, so he couldn't talk for too long... One thing that I had wanted to tell him, which I didn't get a chance to, was to send my best wishes to Mrs. Friedrich (the prolific proprieter of Buried Treasure Books). Here is my tribute for this Mother's Day to some of the moms of the Blogosphere:

    Buried Treasure: A Weblog - Carmon Friedrich
    The Homeschooling Revolution - Dr. Isabel Lyman
    The BadgerMum (Mrs. Cumbee)
    Earth-Shattering Distinctives (Mrs. Cunningham)
    LadyDusk (Dawn)
    Bound by Grace
    Electric Venom (Kate)

    Oh dear... How could I have forgotten...!!?!! - Of all people:
    Michelle!

    (I know that there are other good motherly weblogs around - including several that I've probably come across before, and enjoyed... But due to the overbearing time crunch that I'm in at this very moment, I really can't deal with this any more now; I may add more moms in this list here later.)



    Baldilocks... - I didn't know if Juliette is a mother; it turns out that she is not, but her latest entry makes me aware that I should post a rose (or a carnation?) here, for today.

    My mother is thankfully very much alive!



    Update (5/19/05): I shouldn't have left out Betsy Newmark, since her blog has been around for awhile (unlike so many of these new[er] ones that have popped up within the past year or so), and especially since her daughter was one of the bloggers who linked to my guest blogger Nathan Averbeck's widely-circluated entry on homeschooling. And you don't have to wait till Father's Day to check out Mr. Newmark's blog well.



    One of the entry drafts I did for Mother's Day, now being published...

    I had wanted to post something on Mother's Day last year... But then again, I have so many potential entries that have never been published - and some of them are from even further back than that.

    I think that for my possible entry of last year, I had wanted to post that acrostic poem (now published in one of the above entries) - and I had also wanted to include a link to an article which I had found on the indispensible LewRockwell.com. It tells about Anna Jarvis, and about how after she founded Mother's Day in 1914 (actually, she had it first proposed in Congress in 1908, but it had problems getting passed), her attitude about it changed.

    They Voted Against Mother's Day - by Bill Kaufmann
    A funny thing happened on the way to the florist...



    I just found this other article on LRC, which was published during Christmastime, but would be appropriate for the occasion of Mother's Day as well:

    A Present I'll Never Forget - by Mike (in Tokyo) Rogers



    Mothers Mobilize

    I was glad to find out about a new organization, Mothers Against the Draft.

    That looks like a great site. Conservative women seem to be leading this organization, though it is officially non-partisan. Dr. Izzy Lyman, a great traditional conservative author and blogger, pointed out (where did those permalinks go?) that several homeschooling moms are among the leaders of this organization.



    Note: This entry was saved as a draft, but published on Saturday, May 28, 2005.


    In accordance with my "Mother's Day" theme:

    The Gold Star Mothers of America

    Please check out my entry from 2003 on "Gold Star Mothers Day."
    I need to do an updated post, since there are now [quite-regretably] more names on that list.


    Saturday, May 07, 2005


    CONGRATULATIONS!!!!!


    Congratulations, UIS graduates!



    Angst and Regret
    Thoughts on the the End


    I am saving this space for my thoughts about what happened today, and what has been happening this academic year... (which I am too exhausted, and somewhat-overwhelmed to share right now).

    Plus, I still have a ton of things to do... Like trying to get as much of my incomplete work submitted before it's too late - or, like at, the moment, just moving out. Matt is absolutely right [ on this, not on Social Security... ;-) ] - things are moving way too fast right now. But then, it's been like that at other times before, too.



    Jason Kennedy also graduted today.
    Kate Johnson (a Republican cheerleader!) finished her first year at UIS.


    Thursday, May 05, 2005



    The Conservative Party Website


    Regime change begins at [their] home!