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This is the personal weblog of Aakash Raut, established Sept. 2002. It will cover current affairs, worldwide & national topics, local & university events, and provide insight and commentary on contemporary issues and the news from his perspective. Enjoy!

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    Wednesday, June 27, 2007

    Update (7/24/07): I've noticed that two of the people mentioned in this post - Chris Isaak Chris Isaak and Michael Vick Michael Vick, have coincidentally been featured on the television news since I published this entry. (I was actually in Georgia, when the latter's controversy arose... so it was all the more featured there.)

    In addition to Josh Claybourn (as I've noted in prior years), I found out that our liberal friend Matthew Yglesias [who now blogs at The Atlantic magazine's website!], also turned 26, around this same time... Like me, perhaps he is feeling old.

    Use Facebook!... As I said on Facebook, my birthday was mostly negative. (Though, since I don't have "Twitter," my "Status" said, at the end of that Tuesday, that "Aakash is finishing a mostly horrid birthday."

    Things could have been a lot, lot, lot worse though... When seeing things like that, it makes our complaints, even if legitimate, seem trivial.


    26 on the 26th

    June 26th is an important date. (And I'm not saying that just because it's "National Chocolate Pudding Day"!)

    There have been several famous people born on this day. Athlete Babe Didrickson Zaharias in 1914, Elvis music manager Colonel Tom Parker in 1909, distinguished author Pearl S. Buck in 1892, Civil War Major General Abner Doubleday, the man who invented baseball (or so we want to be true), in 1819.

    Among those living famous Americans with today as their birthday are singer Billy Davis, Jr., who is 67, Nobel Prize-winning physicist Klaus von Klitzing, who is 64, singer Chris Isaak, who is 51, legendary biker Greg Lemond, who is 46, baseball players Derek Jeter and Jason Kendall, who are 33, actors Chris O'Donnell and Matthew Letscher, who are both 37, actor Jason Schwartzman, who is 27, NFL quarterback Michael Vick, who is also 27, Aakash Raut, who is 26, pop artist Casey Desmond, who is 21, Brazilian racecar driver Carlos Iaconelli, who...

    Wait a second, one of those birthday people isn't really famous...

    Yes that's right, today is the 26th anniversary of a momentous occasion in history. On June 26, 1981, Aakash Raut was born at Saint Vincent's Hospital in New York City. And the world would never be the same.


    Josh Claybourn's date of birth precedes mine by two weeks. On his birthday two four years ago, he posted an entry (I want those posts back!) with famous things that happened on that day. Those older than us in the Blogosphere were trying to figure out what they were doing on Josh's birth date. (It's amazing that those links still work, even after four years... I so wish ALL the weblog entry direct links were still the same... But now, many of those sites are not even still online!)

    Many notable things have happened on June 26th in recent and past American history; some good, some not so good. The positive (or neutral) things first:

    1498: The toothbrush is invented.
    1819: The bicycle is patented by W. K. Clarkson.
    1870: The first section of the Boardwalk in Atlantic City is opened along the NJ beach.
    1896: First movie theater in the United States opens. (Why didn't we go out this week [i.e. - those from UIS]?)
    1923: The first race of the 24 hours of Le Mans is held.
    1924: U.S. forces leave the Dominican Republic, after eight years of occupation.
    1959: The St. Lawrence Seaway is opened.
    1963: President John F. Kennedy says the famous words "Ich bin ein Berliner."
    Did he call himself a jelly doughnut? Maybe not...)
    1964: The Beatles release their album A Hard Day's Night.
    1979: Muhammad Ali, 37, announced his retirement as world heavyweight boxing champion.
    1987: Dragnet, the movie, opened in the U.S.
    2000: The first map of the human genome is created.
    This year (2005): Her Royal Highness Princess Alexia of the Netherlands is born!! (at 2:40 PM)

    Unfortunately, some negative things have also happened on this day:

    1248: The Pied Piper leads 130 children to their deaths in Hamelin, Germany.
    1784: Delaware freedom fighter Caesar Rodney passes away*... He had been suffering from asthma and skin cancer of the face.
    [* Note: At that informative encyclopedia link above Wikipedia describes the date of his passing as June 25th... The History Channel has it on the 26th, though.]
    1807: Lightning strikes a warehouse gunpowder factory in Luxemborg [Kirchberg], killing 230 people.
    1945: The charter of the United Nations is signed at a conference in San Francisco.
    An interesting note: Who presided as Secretary-General during this founding conference? None other than Alger Hiss, one of the highest ranking member of the U.S. State Department. We now know that Hiss was secretly working for the Kremlin as a Communist spy, and stealing top secret information, passing it along to the Soviets. I recently heard that they actually named something after him... at a college or something. What is this nation coming to?...
    1975: Prime Minister Indira Gandhi of India declares a state of emergency due to "deep and widespread conspiracy."
    1977: Elvis holds his last concert.
    1993: President Clinton orders cruise missile attacks on Iraq after his administration concludes that the Iraqi Intelligence Service was behind a plot, discovered about two and a half months earlier, to assassinate ex-President George H.W. Bush while he was in Kuwait City. Claiming that "compelling evidence" showed that Iraqi intelligence orchestrated the assassination attempt, Clinton ordered airstrikes against what he claimed was their headquarters in Baghdad. Twenty-three Tomahawk missles, each costing over one million dollars, were fired from the Red Sea and the Persian Gulf. In addition to destroying the buildings, several of the "smart" missiles went off course and landed in neighborhoods, killing innocent civilians, including Laila al-Attar, one of the most talented female artists in the Middle East, who was helping to promote the work of women artists throughout the world.
    [ My archived entry, at Pieter's 'Deux Ego', about this whole mess. ]
    1996: The U.S. Supreme Court rules that the Virginia Military Institute must admit women, or else lose state support.
    1998: Gone with the Wind, famously released in 1939, is restored and re-released by New Line Pictures. * * *
    2002: A federal court rules, by a vote of 2-1, that the Pledge of Allegiance is unconstitutional, because it includes the phrase, "under God." I recall being upset at this ruling, but in a way, it could end up having some benefit. Those of us who are constitutionalists and republicans could be able to point this out as a reason why we need more "strict constructionist" judges on the federal bench, and the U.S. Supreme Court.
    2003: Former SC Governor and retired U.S. Senator Strom Thurmond passed away at the age of 100. I was somewhat shocked when I saw the news. It wasn't that long before that I had wished Strom 'Happy Birthday' on this blog, and then, he passed away, on mine.

    Saturday, June 23, 2007

    Note (6/25/07): This entry mentions that guest bloggers will be taking over here soon, as I continue to attempt catching up on that which I need to get done. I will be popping in however, like tomorrow, when I turn "26 on the 26th."

    No Excuses Explanations

    I have done this before, and apologized, but never since it began (in September 2002) has this weblog gone this long without a new entry being published.

    Especially during the past three years, there have been periods in which I've been "out-of-the-loop," insofar as the Blogosphere - they have been intermittent, though. In a 2004 comment post at William Luse's site, I described the reason for this decline as me being "busy, lazy, and disinterested"; he responded by saying that that symbolizes how things are going for many people.

    I've noticed that several people - both local students and others - who started blogging after I did, ended their weblogs, while mine was still ongoing, at a somewhat-regular (though not as much as I would have liked) pace. It is very exciting at first, but loses its luster over time. There is also the time and energy factor - which has been a big dilemma for me, and apparently for others as well.

    I recently retired as the Chairman of the capital-city chapter of the College Republicans in Illinois; we are nationally-recognized as one of the most active student organizations in the midwestern United States.

    One would think that "retirement" - and it being summer "break" - would give me a good amount of free time. However, with work, and with still being involved in government & public-policy affairs (esp. at the state and local level now), and with having to make plans for the huge Biennial Convention of the College Republican National Committee, it has still been excessively hectic.

    And I still have some Master's Degree coursework to complete, which needs to be submitted soon.

    In addition to this, I addressed some more serious issues in my "recent" entry (published in December). Those are ongoing...

    I said several times, in past posts, that I wanted to turn this weblog over, as has been done before, to guest bloggers, such as James Lawrence, and was going to use, as a springboard for this, that he was recognized by the Phillips Foundation as an "Outstanding Student Leader," and awarded a scholarship. I delayed doing the guest-blogger thing, but was then going to do so, right after being interviewed for the Daniel McCarthy article on traditionalist conservatism and American youth, which would have been appropriate, considering that James was featured in that magazine piece, and his past guest entry here dealt with that very issue.

    Despite the delays, I am hoping that James R. Lawrence III will still be able to guest blog here, starting ASAP, at the caliber of his past writings. CONGRATULATIONS to Mr. Lawrence on having graduated this past semester.

    To supplement this potential content, I was also going to send a Facebook message to another traditionalist conservative [from Missouri - I don't know if he still has his own weblog], and to Nathan Averbeck, who has very-successfully guest-blogged here before. I don't know whether either one of them are, during the summer months, or if they even have good web access at the present; I will Facebook-message them ASAP, though.

    Use Facebook!

    26 on the 26th

    I am getting older, year after year... And it feels that way, as I've noted in prior summers.

    I imagine that I will pop in, to post a Claybourn-style birthday entry. Also, I hope to live-blog from the big convention in D.C. next month.

    For now, I have to continue making plans - and raising money! [which I wish the others knew how to effectively do as well] - for that big event. And I really need to get cracking on my incompletes, before I find myself in a hole too big to climb out of.