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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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    Politics Blog Directory
    Saturday, December 31, 2005

    Please see the Urgent Update at the bottom of this entry, and see if you can help us out. Thanks!

    Last Minute(s)...

    Hello all - This is Aakash again. I am still somewhat busy (and Christian has been doing a superb job in keeping this weblog updated - Thank you so much!)... but I wanted to drop in, with a reminder about today.

    Around this time of the year, many organizations make requests for end-of-year donations... It was three year-ends ago that I was going to post a message on this weblog, pointing my readers to a donation request from I didn't get a chance to post that then, but that excellent web publication is once again in need of funds... And "You Have Until Midnight" to make a donation to them, or to any tax-exempt organization of your choice, for it to be deductible on your 2005 taxes. If you write a check that is dated for today (December 31st), then that will still be deductible, regardless of how long it takes for the mailing to be delivered.

    - - - - - - - -

    I am regretfully unable to make any contributions, at this time, to any organization or group, due to the money problems that are commonly faced by political organizations - and especially by their leaders (most people don't realize how much personal financing it takes, even for a student organization). The College Republicans at the University of Illinois at Springfield has risen to become the most active College Republicans organization in the state of Illinois, and we plan to continue our efforts for as long as possible. But adequate financial resources are going to be necessary for this - especially with major events such as CPAC coming up before long. In addition, our organization has grown by leaps and bounds this past semester, and during the previous academic year... We are now one of the largest student organizations at the university. Any assistance that any of you could provide would be much appreciated, and I guarantee you that it will be put to good use.

    If you think that you may be able to help, please send your contributions to the following address:

    UIS College Republicans
    Office of Student Life
    U of IL at Springfield
    1 University Plaza
    Springfield, IL 62703

    (Make checks payable to "UIS College Republicans.")

    At this time, I don't think that contributions to UIS student organizations are tax-deductible, but I hope that some of you will help out anyway - if not now, then some time soon.

    Urgent Update (1/3/05): I wanted to note two things...

    - First off, College Republicans organizations in America (such as ours) are not officially affiliated with the national (or state & local) Republican Party. We are affiliated with the state and national College Republican organizations, which are independent from the RNC. Our College Republicans organization at UIS is completely student-run, and is dedicated to upholding conservative and Republican principles, while promoting our values throughout the community and campus, as well as at the national level (last year, we were in Washington, D.C. a total of three times).

    - The second point actually has to do with traveling to D.C. I mentioned above that we are going to need funding (a lot of it, in fact), for a planned trip to CPAC 2006. No one in our organization has been to this exciting annual event before, which is the gold standard of conservative conferences and conventions. We will be receiving some funds from the university's club board, but I just found out that the low-cost airline that we were planning to use, Independence Air, will be shutting down on Thursday [latest news].

    This drastically changes things for many people across the country, including us. Even with the funding that we had received for plane tickets, we were going to need funds to cover lodging and other costs. Now, we still need funding for that, but also for airfare, as ticket prices from most commercial airlines are significantly higher than those that Independence Air [a low-cost carrier] has been offering.

    And even aside from the [hopeful!] CPAC trip, there are a number of various other expenses that arise, on a monthly basis, in running a College Republicans organization that is one of the most active in the midwestern United States. Please help out, if you can. I can assure you that any money donated will be put to good use.

    Thank you very much... and of course: Happy New Year!!

    Michelle Malkin and...


    Dustin Hawkins, the editor of and sent me this list he made of seven outstanding liberal loonies that defined the status of the lunatic fringe left in 2005. Enjoy!

    -Christian Hartsock, Guest Blogger

    Liberal Loonies – 2005 Edition
    By Dustin M. Hawkins

    The Liberal Loonies represents the one time of the year when liberals get all of the “praise” and recognition that they truly deserve.

    Husband of the Year: Michael Schiavo. For having his wife starved to death, despite promising to take care of her for the rest of her life in trying to get a big fat court settlement, Schiavo receives the prestigious ‘Husband of the Year’ award. In addition to refusing to divorce Terri and allow her parents to care for her, Schiavo went on to have an out-of-wedlock affair that produced two children and his and hers Mercedes, had her body cremated despite her religious Catholic following, and, to throw salt on the wound, recently announced the launch of “Terri Pac.”

    Jane Fonda Award for Anti-Americanism: Cindy Sheehan. For dragging her brave son’s name through a dirty, nasty, self-serving, Anti-American protest against President Bush and the U.S. Armed Forces, Cindy “oh-God-that-voice” Sheehan captures the JFAAA. She even released a book and “toured” in Spain. Cindy gets bonus points for accusing the National Guard of holding an illegal occupation in New Orleans post-hurricane.

    Jane Fonda-Wannabe Award for Anti-Americanism: Jane Fonda. Inspired by Cindy Sheehan’s anti-war popularity, Jane Fonda tried to live up to, well, herself, and become as hated as she was back during the Vietnam War. Unfortunately with Hussein no longer in power, Fonda had no friendly tanks to hoist herself onto and her anti-war campaign was a failure.

    The “non-profit” of the Year: Planned Parenthood. For their commitment to “family values” and for the liberal-pleasing slaughter of hundreds-of-thousands of “clusters of cells” in the name of “reproductive health matters”, Planned Parenthood is without a doubt the non-profit of the year. Unfortunately for young teenage girls across America, the organization has run out of “I had an Abortion” t-shirts.

    Liberal Business Model of the Year: Air America. For hijacking $850,000 from a taxpayer-funded Boys and Girls Club, having to resort to NPR-like fund-raising to stay on air, and for maintaining their 7 nation-wide listeners, Air America is by far the biggest liberal business success story of the year. In addition, the liberal talkers made many “hilarious” suggestions that various members of the Bush administration be either shot or “put to death.” Also, with a spokeswoman like Janeane Garfalo, how can you be a loser?

    Republican Strategist of the Year: Howard Dean. By not getting the presidential nomination in 2004, Howard Dean was instead awarded the chairmanship of the DNC and quickly earned his pins as one of the GOP’s best strategists. When liberal Democrats have to tell their party head to shut up, you know things are definitely looking up for them in 2006.

    Faker of the Year: Hillary Clinton. While this has nothing to do with her husband Bill – we want to know nothing about that, thank you – Hillary Clinton takes home the award for Faker of the Year. Proving that she is easily the smartest man in the Democratic Party, Clinton has managed to be the moderate voice about Iraq and many other issues in her plans for the White House. Indeed, the JFAAA award-winner Sheehan even opposes her.

    To all our winners, Holly-weirdoes, politicians, and “friends” of the left, we hope your next year will be as successful as the last. Trust me, we all need the laughs.

    Friday, December 30, 2005


    As a reward for your devotion to my good friend Aakash's blog, I am endowing you all with the rare opportunity of reading my column before the month of its release. I just wrote it yesterday and it will be posted on in January. I hope you enjoy it. If you do, go ahead and read more of my work on my website, and if you have any feedback, my e-mail address is

    Love Your Enemies and Flatter Those Who Slander You
    By Christian Hartsock

    It would not be unsafe to say that George W. Bush will go down in history as one of the strongest defenders of the free world; a national security hero in the tradition of Ronald Reagan, Richard Nixon and Joseph McCarthy. And most importantly, like Reagan, Nixon and McCarthy, Bush has been the subject of the burning, fuming, foaming-at-the-mouth hatred of spastic, sputtering liberals – so much that history is already being rewritten to blacken his name. And as Ann Coulter said in August 2000: “The thing I like about Bush is I think he hates liberals.” Well he has not demonstrated this hatred, nor any particular frustration with liberals for a long time. In fact, as they have slandered, smeared and maligned him, Bush has been cordial towards them. Almost embarassingly cordial. This is because our president is Winston Churchill when it comes to terrorists but Neville Chamberlain when it comes to liberals.

    There are tragically few Republicans who would even go so far as to call the Democratic Party what it is: a party of liars (Clinton), adulterers (Clinton), murderers (Kennedy), Klansmen (Byrd), and outright traitors (Murtha, Dean and Kerry). Their party has stood for surrendering to terrorists (Murtha), not avenging terrorist attacks (Barbara Lee), ignoring terrorist attacks on Americans (Clinton), ignoring Soviet infiltration (Roosevelt), and keeping the two equally greatest evils America is guilty of legal: abortion and slavery. Instead, Bush has returned liberals’ fiendishly hateful rhetoric against him with the same painful-to-watch obsequiousness that blacks in requisitely subservient roles demonstrated to the white bourgeoisie in pre-1960s Hollywood films.

    After Rep. John Murtha (D-Penn.) called for immediate withdrawal of troops from Iraq and House Republicans ingeniously called his bluff, President Bush spoiled the fun by calling Murtha “a good man” and a “strong supporter of the United States military” and insisted that his treasonous call for surrender was done “in a careful and thoughtful way.” He even said: “I heard someone say well maybe so-and-so is not patriotic because they disagree with my position. I totally reject that thought. This is not an issue of who is patriotic and who is not patriotic. It is an issue of an honest, open debate about the way forward in Iraq.” Um, no. It really all boils down to one simple question: Is it more or less patriotic to call for surrender in the middle of a successful war? Hmm…

    The president’s compulsion to cater and kowtow to the hegemonic politically correct standards instituted by the left has led to him to glorify terrorists, criminals and the ideologies that encourage them. On December 19, 2005, Bush gushed over a holiday begun by a deranged criminal who was convicted of torturing two women and who founded a violent extremist organization which led to murderous acts when he said: “[The values of Kwanzaa] contribute to a culture of citizenship and compassion, and Kwanzaa activities help pass on African values and traditions to future generations.”

    On April 1, 2002, Bush refused to label former Palestinian Authority Chairman Yasser Arafat a terrorist. Apparently funding, authorizing and commanding terrorist attacks against innocent Jews doesn’t make you a terrorist anymore. After Arafat’s death, Bush said: “We express our condolences to the Palestinian people.” Boo-hoo-hoo.

    Furthermore, the president has gone out of his way to assure all Americans that even though almost every terrorist attack committed against Americans over the past quarter-century has been committed by Muslims in the name of Allah, Islam had nothing to do with them. Almost a week after 9/11, Bush said: “The face of terror is not the true face of Islam. That's not what Islam is all about. Islam is peace.” Ten days later, Bush said that the war on terror “is not a campaign against the Muslim faith [but a] campaign against evil.” A day later, he said that it is a war “against evil, not against Islam.” On January 5, 2002, he said “our war is not against Islam…Our war is a war against evil.” On November 15, 2001, Bush stated that Islam “teaches the value and the importance of charity, mercy, and peace.” To back his statement up, this is what the book of the religion of peace states: “When you meet the unbelievers in the battlefield, strike off their heads and, when you have laid them low, bind your captives firmly” (Qur’an 47:4), and “Prophet, make war on the unbelievers and the hypocrites and deal rigorously with them. Hell shall be their home: an evil fate” (Qur’an 9:73).

    While the Democrats call for surrender without meaning it, Republicans surrender without knowing it. They are too caught up with, as Michael Savage would say, making liberals feel “comfortable,” and making sure imprisoned terrorists don’t have to sleep without their teddy bears as we have seen with the legislation Sen. John McCain has recently sponsored. If they continue ceasing to stand up for themselves and recognizing their party’s opponents and their country’s enemies for what they are, their chances of winning the 2008 election are not looking so great. The GOP should be a party of strength, confidence, solidarity, patriotism and conviction, not a party of apology, appeasement and unmerited cordiality. As time goes by, the Democrats are becoming increasingly vicious, increasingly treasonous and increasingly smart. Let’s follow the example of the House Republicans and start outsmarting them and calling them on their outrageous behavior before it causes too much damage.

    -Christian Hartsock, Guest Blogger

    Thursday, December 29, 2005


    Having seen one of the three just tonight, I was inspired to write about what I consider to be the top three films of this year, as 2005 comes to a close.


    I am no fantasy nut, needless to say I confess I have not been following the HARRY POTTER or LORD OF THE RINGS crazes, but being a devoted reader of C.S. Lewis's non-fiction, I gave this film my $8 (!) tonight and found it to be well-deserved. I believe that in a sense, The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe is virtually a follow-up to Mel Gibson's The Passion of the Christ, inasmuch as it finds itself being part of a cinematic, revolutionary reaction against the culture war perpetrated by the relativistic, hegemonic Hollywood left, which The Passion began. A thematically rich, intellectually stimulating and visually spectacular film this was, and all should see it.

    2) THE EXORCISM OF EMILY ROSE - directed by Scott Derrickson

    The Exorcism of Emily Rose is a film that both frequents and transcends the horror genre, the impact of which is tantamount to that of The Exorcist even. This picture, directed by a Christian and supervised by Christians and Catholics, takes an unusually mature and responsible approach to the reality of possession. It is rare that I am moved to tears by a film (it has only happened twice before), but the exorcism scene was so emotionally potent and spiritually poignant that my eyes watered. I urge both Christians and horror fans alike (a combo only suitable to this rare film) to see this picture immediately.

    1) CRASH - directed by Paul Haggis

    The crown goes to a film produced by my cousin-in-law Tom Nunan, and directed by the writer of Million Dollar Baby; a cinematic kaleidoscope of interwoven stories based in Los Angeles. A film that out-Altmans Altman, Crash carries with it the sobering cynicism of Short Cuts, the emotional weight of Magnolia and the racial heat of Do the Right Thing. Everything works in this film: the performances are organic and disturbingly lifelike; the screenplay is one of the best ever written; and the directing is absolutely stellar. Crash will go down in history as one of the best films ever made. An absolute must-see.

    -Christian Hartsock, Guest Blogger

    Tuesday, December 27, 2005

    Condoleezza Rice vs. Hillary Clinton in 2008? One of my girlfriend's gifts to me was Dick Morris's new book Condi vs. Hillary: The Next Great Presidential Race. In it, Morris delineates why Condoleezza Rice is a probable and plausible 2008 candidate for the GOP. Were it not that she was "mildly pro-choice" and had she more campaigning experience, I would wrap my supportive arms around her. What we have here, however, is a paradox. Condi is both a plausible candidate and an implausible candidate. She is also an ideal candidate and an unideal candidate. Ideal because her knowledge of foreign affairs would grant her an exceptional expertise when it comes to foreign policy and national security. Unideal because she is, as I mentioned before, "mildly pro-choice," which would alienate her from the "values voters" who sealed the last election. She is a plausible candidate because inasmuch as it was primarily women who decided the last election, her gender could possibly appeal to many women who otherwise would have voted for Hillary in hopes of having one of their kind reach the White House. In addition, there has been talk of Hillary choosing Sen. Obama as her running mate -- which would in effect give blacks even more of a reason to cast their votes for her. But this all could be upstaged by Condi on account of her race. The reason she is an implausible candidate is because it was made abundantly clear in her interview with Tim Russert that she would not run. Furthermore, a seat in the Oval Office would interrupt Condi's aspirations of becoming the commissioner for the NFL. My heart is set on Sen. Sam Brownback because of his thoroughly conservative voting record, but Condi's prominence could overshadow him. Hell, at least we've still got some time left to figure things out.

    -Christian Hartsock, Guest Blogger

    Monday, December 26, 2005

    It has commonly been a curious custom to not discuss politics at the dinner table. Well let's just say my extended family isn’t quite true to custom. On Christmas Eve this year, I found myself fanatically submerged in an ardent discourse with my loved ones on the future of the American presidency as determined by the 2008 elections. High-flying names like Giuliani and McCain were chucked across the table while my personal preference of Brownback was dismissed by my new cousin-in-law Kyle as an unknown. Though Giuliani has enjoyed the support of at least three of my relatives and McCain is staunchly championed by my mother, to me these names only signify the concession of the GOP to the center-left and the abandonment thereof of the focus on moral values which a whopping 22 percent of voters (the highest number) in exit polls claimed was most influential to them in casting their votes for W. To clarify: McCain opposed the Federal Marriage Amendment and Giuliani has said that he is “pro-gay rights.” While it is doubtful that the hawkish 9/11 hero would make a shoddy national security leader (unlike McCain whose new anti-torture legislation poses a threat to our national security), the same-sex marriage issue is indispensable insofar as it corresponds to the central focal point of the 2004 election which unexpectedly triumphed national security. It is unavoidable, for instance, that that the amendment enjoys the support of 53 percent of Americans, and that gay marriage was struck down in all eleven states that were allowed to vote on it. Plus it is doubtful that Giuliani, being an embodiment of the progressive metropolitan elite could carry a poignant human connection with the “fly-over state” voters. But what are we Republicans to do when the two biggest names being touted around the campfire are so out of touch with that crucial Middle American/evangelical vote, despite their impressive leadership credentials? I’ll be back tomorrow to discuss this matter further and possibly offer some solutions. I hope everyone enjoyed their Christmases and are ready for another year’s worth of a step closer to 2008.

    -- Christian Hartsock, Guest Blogger

    Sunday, December 25, 2005

    "O Friendship Tree, O Friendship Tree"
    By Christian Hartsock (Guest Blogger)

    When they’re not thinking up laughable euphemisms for the mythological “penumbra emanation” of an alleged entitlement to commit ruthless infanticide against helpless infants such as “a woman’s right to choose,” liberals are scratching their heads in a desperate effort to think up alternative names for those unidentified ornament-adorned objects that normal people tend to refer to as “Christmas trees.” Some ingenious appellations have sprung up, including “giving trees,” “paradise trees,” “world trees,” “friendship trees,” or the most popular candidate, “holiday trees,” while those who obstinately insist on calling them what they are are rightly deemed primitive and intolerant.

    During Christmas season one year, a father was bewildered to find a watercolor painting his four-year-old son had done in school of a menorah and seven candles painted green, red and black representing Kwanzaa, yet there was no inclusion of a Christmas tree. When he inquired of his son as to its absence, his son replied, “We have the friendship tree.” Puzzled, the father decided to take his son to school the next day only to find hallway bulletin boards adorned with menorahs and the words “Happy Hanukah,” as well as green, red and black candles with letters announcing “The Miracle of Kwanzaa,” but when he got to the end of a long hallway he found a pine tree on a table. After asking the principal of the school what it was, the principal replied, “That is our friendship tree.” As any reasonable person would do, the father asked why it was not called a “Christmas tree,” to which the principal responded, “Oh, we’re trying to make sure we don’t offend people.”

    Instances such as these are not uncommon. In Toledo, Ohio, Bowsher High School principal Larry Black accidentally announced that the school had erected a Christmas tree, only to swiftly correct himself by renaming it the “holiday tree.” Meanwhile, in Boston, a Christian group had to complain after the city called its Christmas tree a “holiday tree.” In Washington D.C., House Speaker Dennis Hastert (R-Ill.) declared that the tree set up on the West Lawn of the U.S. Capitol, having been labeled a “holiday tree,” should be renamed the “Capitol Christmas tree.”

    After Indiana Law School dean Tony Tarr, who was always adorably excited when Christmas came, set up a Christmas tree in the atrium of the main building of the law school, some annoying liberal property law professor named Florence Wagman Roisman, as well as two annoying liberal students, demanded that the tree be taken down due to its “doubtful constitutionality.”

    Let’s see here. Roisman, as most annoying liberals do, probably predicated her statement on the establishment clause of the First Amendment. To clarify, the First Amendment states, “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion….” With a dose of common sense and clear thinking, one might make the logical observation that the tree is not an “establishment of religion” and that Indiana Law School is not “Congress.” But what does she know? She’s only a law professor.

    It doesn’t stop with Christmas trees. At Thomas Elementary School in Plano, Texas, at a “winter party” (formerly known as the “Christmas party”), students were encouraged to exchange goodie bags. Little Michaela Wade decided to include in her goodie bags a pencil with words reading, “Jesus Is the Reason For the Season.” Jonathan Morgan, another student, put in his goodie bags a candy-cane-shaped pen with an attached card with text explaining the origin of the candy cane. To explain, legend has it that the candy cane was the creation of a Christian candy maker who wanted to make a form of candy in the shape of the letter “J” for “Jesus.” In addition, the red color on the candy cane symbolized Christ’s blood, while the white color symbolized Christ’s purity. On account of the “religious viewpoint” of the gifts, both the pens and the pencils were confiscated from the students.

    Let’s return to the First Amendment. Directly following the establishment clause is what is known as the “free exercise clause,” which, along with the preceding clause, states, “Congress shall make no law respecting the establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof (emphasis mine).” Inasmuch as it is the religious duty of Christians to share and teach about their faith with and to other people, it is safe to say that the school fascistically infringed on the students’ rights to exercise their religion. This is one of the fascinating enigmas of liberals: They love the establishment clause (without even knowing what it means), but they hate what comes with it. And though Thomas Elementary was not Congress, and it was not making a law, the language in the free exercise clause clearly implied that Congress specifically could not infringe on this right because it was an untouchable right, or “inalienable” as Thomas Jefferson might put it; essential to the concept of “liberty.”

    So why do liberals harbor this instinctive compulsion to cry “Bah, Humbug” every time Christmas comes around? Why do liberals tremble at the sight of Christmas trees? Why do they hate the idea of small children humbly acknowledging the true meaning of Christmas? The answer is simple. Christmas is the celebration of the birth of Jesus Christ, and liberals hate the idea of people worshiping someone who is not one of them. They see themselves as being intellectually superior to everyone else, and thus harbor delusions of divine authority over mankind itself. This is why they feel at liberty to terminate pregnancies at their convenience. It is why they feel at liberty to decide whether Terri Schiavo lives or dies. It is why they feel at liberty to redefine marriage according to their own relativistic standards. It is why they feel they shouldn’t be sentenced to death if they’re convicted of murder. They feel this way because they are gods. Well at least this year we’ll all be enjoying Christmas and the gods won’t be.

    Christian Lee Hartsock, 19, is a screenwriter, filmmaker and political columnist. He has been a guest on Sharon Hughes' talk radio show, and his columns have been run in various newspapers, publications, and websites, including American Daily, Newsmax, Political Vanguard, Renew America, The Berkeley Daily Planet, the World Magazine blog, The Conservative Voice, and others. A native of Oakland, California, Chris is currently a student at Brooks Institute of Photography in Ventura where he is pursuing a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Film and Video Production. He is at work on a film called "Separation," a documentary on the secular left's attempts to purge Christianity from the public square. You can visit his website at and e-mail him at

    Note from the [main] blogger, Aakash: As noted below, Christian is guest-blogging, while I am working on a number of things... I may pop in briefly, but he will be mostly taking over, for some time. The hyperlinks in his latest column, which he posted above, were inserted by me, and not included in the original piece. I also 'pinged' this entry to several 'open post' Christmas weblog entries.

    Trackbacked to Stop the ACLU, Choose Life, Real Teen, Common Folk, bRight & Early, Is it Just Me?, Right Wing Nation, All Things Beautiful, Samantha Burns, and Outside the Beltway.

    Saturday, December 24, 2005

    Merry Christmas... Eve!!

    I hope that this season has been filled with joy and goodwill for all of you... and that you feel free to be able to share the Truth about this holiday with friends, family, and others, as we honor and reflect upon the birth of our Savior.


    Oh, how the time passes!
    - Christmas Eve 2002 at University Blog

    Christmas Shopping

    I realize that it is too late for Christmas shopping, for many of you (though not for all; there's always late gifts...), but here are some items that you may be interested in.

    Note: There actually is a way to present a good gift to someone, even at this point. Purchase an online Gift Certificate! I saw yesterday that the Mises Institute is offering them... You can put $10 or more on a virtual gift card, and use it online. With these gift cards, there is no extra cost for shipping, handling, or anything else.

    You can also send an gift card (from $5.00 to $5,000.00) to anyone, via e-mail. A gift magazine subscription would also be excellent...

    Any purchase made at that website through the link of an ' Associate' will yield a small commission to that Associate. I had noticed last year that Bill Hobbs had appended each of his weblog entries noting that people could support his site by doing their holiday shopping at You could use his Associate link to shop at, or you could even use mine. :-)
    [That's where I got the idea, and the url format, from.]

    Here are some Christmas-related or other intriguing items that you may want to purchase, regardless of what day it is.

    The Chronicles of Narnia, the everlasting epic by C.S. Lewis

    - - - - - - - - - -

    The Christmas Box, by Richard Paul Evans - Barnes & Noble was heavily marketing this bestseller a few years ago, asking "Do you have enough copies?"... I think a movie that's now been made from it was recently on television.

    The War on Christmas, by Josh Gibson of Fox News

    The Case for a Creator, by Lee Strobel

    The Case for Christmas, by Lee Strobel (Only $2.99!)

    The Glory of Christmas, by Max Lucado

    The Penultimate Peril (A Series of Unfortunate Events), by Lemony Snicket

    1776, by David McCullough

    Death of the West, by Pat Buchanan

    Our Endangered Values, by Jimmy Carter

    Some interesting Christmas movies...

    It's a Wonderful Life (1946)

    Miracle on 34th Street (1994) [or: original 1947 make - IMDB page]

    A Christmas Story (1983)

    A Christmas Carol (1999)

    All I Want for Christmas (1991)

    The Santa Clause (1994)

    The Santa Clause 2 (2002)

    Jingle All the Way (1996)

    Mrs. Santa Clause (1996)

    Home Alone (1990)

    Home Alone 2: Lost in New York (1992)

    National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation (Special Edition) (1989)

    Trackbacked to NIF, Third World Country, and Pirates, Man your women!

    Sunday, December 18, 2005

    Help out this blogger by doing your Christmas shopping at!

    'Nightmares' Aren't Over Yet

    I know I've said this before, but I believe that this is truly the worst situation, academic + health-wise, that I've had, since I started here at UIS. (And this is just the first semester of grad school!)

    Caffeine... I've had to pull all-nighters several days in a row... [Update: Check out this neat 'encyclopedia' entry; and this essay as well...] I did however, just barely manage to get my work done this week, for my Copyright Law class. It's overdue, but I hope that things will work out. I know that one of the Mises bloggers had asked to see the 'Google Print' [i.e. - "Google Book Search"] section of my final project, when I got it finished; I think I may upload and link to it here... The thing is, I myself have never had a chance to read it through - because of the time constraint, I had to turn it in right after it was completed and printed out; and since my printer here on campus has been non-functional for awhile (drat!), I haven't had a chance to read my own paper. (My eyes are straining too much to be able to sit through 16 and a half pages on the computer screen; it's hard enough typing this right now.) I mentioned a little while ago that I have no idea where my glasses are - and I assume that my contact lenses are still in my eyes; I only wish I knew how to find them and get them out...

    Also, the filing deadling for petitions, for major party candidates in Illinois, is tomorrow (Monday - Dec. 19th). The State Party has been greatly requesting our help, with getting as many signatures as possible, so that the three new Republican candidates for statewide office can appear on the primary ballot. Those candidates are:
    Stu Umholtz - Attorney General
    Sen. Carole Pankau - Comptroller
    Sen. Christine Radogno - Treasurer

    Unfortunately, this new ballot-access project came up right after Thanksgiving Break, and right before Finals Week... So the amount of assistance that we've been able to provide has been limited. Hopefully, we can get as many signatures as possible today, and have enough, when the candidates file at the State Board of Elections Office (here in Springfield) tomorrow.

    I know that my blogging rate has been way down - due to the factors I've alluded to above, and various other things. That is probably the reason that this weblog wasn't chosen as a finalist for Kevin Aylward's annual contest.... By the way, I haven't checked yet to see who the winners were - I think that the final day of voting was supposed to be Thursday, and if it hadn't been for the emergency academic situation I was in, I would hopefully have done an entry, with my 'endorsements' and recommendations... like some other bloggers did (and like I did the first year of this annual contest). I am glad that, like each of the past two years, several of the weblogs that I nominated were chosen as finalists (even though mine was not).

    I had wanted to have guest bloggers during Finals Week, and before Christmas (errr..., I mean: CHRISTmas). While Finals Week is now officially over (here at UIS), in reality, many of us still have final papers and projects to turn in, before grades are due. I finally got everything done for my Legal Studies course (on Copyright Law) - I told Josh that I kinda sorta now know how he feels - but it still boggles my mind how he can remain a full-time blogger while a full-time Law School student. (I have no idea how I could remain fully sane while a law student... which I why I don't know if I'll end up going.) Josh then showed me that he has started YET ANOTHER WEBLOG, dedicated to legal issues... That guy is really, really gifted; I wish I knew how he does it. (And I wish that was still up!)

    Copyright Law on Campus Anyway, speaking of guest bloggers and pending coursework... While all the work for my Copyright Law class has now been submitted, my introductory Graduate School Political Studies course is a different story. I have an essay [actually, two essays] that needs to be turned in for that, as well as the take-home Final Exam. So Finals are actually not over for me (and I suspect, for quite a few others here).

    Fortunately, there is a talented writer who is eager to guest-blog at this site, during this very-hectic time. Unlike when I've done this in the past, I'm not going to reveal names, other than to say that he's:
    - a teenage conservative columnist (whose work is regularly published, at several sites)
    - a first-year college student
    - has never guest-blogged here before
    - not Kyle Williams [though I'd love for him to guest blog here as well - esp. since he has now ended his popular - and unbelievable for many - weekly syndicated column :-( :-( :-( ]
    - an excellent writer and current-events commentator
    - also a screenwriter and filmmaker (this last one might give it away, for some astute users of the conservative sections of the internet... which are, of course, the best parts!! :-)

    I am looking forward to having this student writer and film producer take over here, while I'm busy [very busy, unfortunately] trying to save my academic situation for this semester, and take care of some other year-end stuff. If I can make it through this term, I think that things can get better from here.

    One more thing, before I go: Thanks to fellow traditionalist conservative blogger Glaivester for making this site his "Blog of the Week." He had e-mailed me, awhile back, after finding (when Blogger chose to add their 'profile' feature, and make it [at least somewhat] searchable) that he, myself, and like one other person were the only ones who had A Republic, Not an Empire, under our 'Favorite Books' list. This relates to the past complaints I've had about the lack of traditionalist conservative viewpoints in the Blogosphere - but I've noticed that within the last year or two, as more and more people have started blogging, that has been turning around somewhat (though still not nearly to the degree that is necessary, especially with the situation that our nation, and our world, is in).
    Pat Buchanan rocks!

    One final note, since we are talking about these things: I want to make clear that there have been several guest bloggers at this site, and while all so far (though that might change some time) have been conservative, their views on some issues are not necessarily my own, and vice-versa. The same has been true when I have been a guest blogger at other sites - well so far, I've only done it at one other site, and it was a good experience... though there were times when myself and the main blogger there did not agree. There are going to be disagreements within the Right, and within the Left, based upon how we interpret our philosophies, and how we believe those should manifest themselves, in the arena of contemporary public policy. In addition to the aforementioned writer, I may have one other guest blogger during this time period, and I don't really know what they will write about; it is mainly up to them. Whatever it is, I hope that you enjoy the fresh content here, and don't worry - I will be back (I hope so, at least!) before too long!

    Best of luck to everyone on final exams (and final projects, papers, end-of-semester wrap-ups, etc....) Good luck, and God Bless!!

    Tuesday, December 13, 2005

    Worst Deadline of My Life

    Tuesday (that's today!) is the final date by which I can turn in a Final Exam project, for my Copyright Law class - a project that will comprise almost all of the points for this course.

    In addition, the ballot-access petition drive, for the Illinois Republican Party, is still ongoing, though they want our petitions for those three statewide candidates to be turned in today as well [I have had to put this on hold, due to these pressing matters; I hope that the others are working on this...] And with other papers due for my graduate Political Studies course, this is truly the worst it's been for awhile - and this is only my first semester of Grad School!!

    I wish I'd been able to do my Pearl Harbor entries... It feels so bad having to allow the standard viewpoints, inaccurate claims, and pro-FDR assertions to go unchallenged. I think that last December, I saved those posts as drafts, but they were never published (that was right after the major elections, when I was also Chair of the CRs, and that semester, we were more active than perhaps ever before); I don't know if I'll get to do those entries this month.
    The Politically Incorrect Guide to American History

    Fortunately, there will be one or two guest bloggers posting here before too long. For now, I've been up all night, and I need to get back to typing...

    Tuesday, December 06, 2005

    From the Prairie State to the Golden State
    No Time for having No Time

    I had wanted to post something about this last night... or at least before going to bed this morning... ;-)

    Today is the day for the special U.S. Congressional election, over in California. This is a significant race, because Jim Gilchrist, the founder of the Minuteman Project, is running for the open House seat, on the American Indepedent Party (a Constitution Party affiliate) ticket.
    [past blog entry]
    [encyclopedia entry]

    A 'Gilchristmas' victory would be a great present... (Much better than the 'Fitzmas' speculation that's been going around...).

    Right now, I am sitting at a table outside the university cafeteria, in the Public Affairs Center; following Thanksgiving Break, the Illinois Republican Party had a special project for us... Three candidates for statewide office just entered the race, and we need to get enough signatures to get them on the ballot, before the filing deadline passes. Finals are next week, so this is extremely difficult for many of us, but we're trying to do what we can.

    This is a very frustrating time period... I now have a ton of blog entries, that I've saved as drafts, or in note form, that have never been published. Because my blogging rate has been down however (possibly the reason that this weblog wasn't chosen as a finalist for the annual contest), I think I will try to get guest bloggers once again.

    For now, however, I am going to try to get more petition signatures, get these horrible papers and projects finished (for which I already have much less time than I will need!), and try not to overdose on caffeine in the process.

    (I am glad that the wireless connection for this laptop finally seems to be working here; otherwise I wouldn't be able to post this entry.)

    If you live in the 48th U.S. House District of California, or know anyone who does, please help get out the vote for Jim Gilchrist today, so that we can have some principled leadership in Congress, and send Washington [and Ken Mehlman] a message, that they cannot afford to remain cavalier about our borders.