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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, August 29, 2007

    The Beast on the East River - Nathan Tabor's expose of the United Nations

    Note (9/1/07): I published an entry here, last night/this morning, which was earlier saved as a draft below. It is below.
    [Go here: Permalink]
    Explanation entry goes here, as described on the Post-it note.

    Inside Facebook: Life, Work and Visions of Greatness (Paperback, 2007) - A new book about the phenomenom that is Facebook, by Karel M. Baloun

    America: From Freedom to Facism (2006)
    Purchase the film TODAY, at low cost, from!


    Freedom Fighter Aaron Russo, R.I.P

    Note (9/5/07): I wrote and published an entry here, on the passing of Aaron Russo, earlier this evening - after having saved an unpublished draft space here. (I had also saved a draft entry below this one, for the passing of Michael Deaver, and one above this one, for an explanation-of-sorts, regarding my blogging plans.)

    Since I want to add something more to this series (I hope to write something about the passing of Leona Helmsley, and perhaps something about the young Sean Kingston's morbid #1 hit song, and maybe about Owen Wilson as well), but since these drafts were saved last month, I am publishing these posts as new entries, dated for today.

    So I am deleting the Aaron Russo entry from here, and it has been published above (with today's date - September 5th). I am re-saving the other two draft posts (mentioned in the first paragraph, above) tonight... I don't know if I'll get all of that material published before bed, but they are now saved, with today's date, and a reader will be able to see them one after another, on an archive page, along with any follow-ups I may do (that is, if this blog's anchor permalinks are still working well here, as they have in the past).

    No Excuses - The Inspirational Book by congenital amputee Kyle Maynard While attempting to arrange these blog entries and organize my thoughts, I am simultaneously struggling to dig myself out of an academic hole... Right now, I need to finish a HUGE Final Report on my internship in local election campaigns, from last semester, before I can start this semester in improving my Graduate School status. (Fortunately, I stopped working at my regular job, as of Friday, but focus and concentration and stamina is the key... not to mention health and energy.)


    - Cultivating Greatness: Is Perfection Slowing You Down? (via Freelancing Journey)

    - How to Read a Blog Entry, in 13 Steps (via Joe Carter)

    - 24 Tips to Becoming an Early Riser (via Joe Carter)

    - 18 Overlooked Things that Everyone Should Bring to College (via Joe Carter)

    Thursday, August 16, 2007

    - - - - - - - - Do you want to use Google Earth [latest news], or any other FREE component of the Google Pack software suite?

    Download ANY or ALL of the FREE SOFTWARE programs, such as Google Earth, from my referral link! If so, you can help out this blogger by downloading the FREE SOFTWARE PACKAGE (or any piece of it) through the referral link button provided here.

    Even if you download and use just one component (such as the very-popular Google Earth, or any other of the free software programs in this suite), I will earn a referral commission. And all of the Google Pack software programs are TOTALLY FREE!!

    You can also help out this blogger by purchasing an item from through this referral link. I will get a referral commision for any item purchased at throught that link - whether you need to buy textbooks, buy used books, buy a CD, a DVD, computer software, video games (like Naruto, whatever that is), a Nintendo Wii, a Sony Playstation, an xBox 360, an iPhone, an iPod, a digital camera, a laptop computer, a Blackberry, a PSP, a GPS navigation device (those are very helpful!), a computer chair, a computer desk, a lawn mower, a scooter, kitchen appliances, a watch, a swatch, a jacket, underwear, or even fresh grocieries (latest news...).

    Illinois Straw Poll
    Something a little new...

    I don't know if they've had a Presidential Primary Straw Poll at the annual "Republican Day" events and program, at the Illinois State Fair, in years past. Though I've been coming to the State Fair since I was a tad, I've only been attending Republican Day since 2002 (actually, on that day that year, I was at the Contract for Life and Family, kind of an alternative event). So I don't know if, in 1999, or years prior, there has been a Straw Poll on Republican Day at the Illinois State Fair. [Latest news....]

    Whether this was the first time or not, what happened today is a unique event, because the primary in Illinois (and in other states) has been moved up earlier than ever before... So our state could be a key player in the 2008 presidential primary contest, in both major parties.

    (This is not a good thing, from my perspective, as the longstanding system benefited the more conservative candidates, such as in 1992 and 1996, when the annointed GOP frontrunners stumbled badly... which is a reason the GOP Establishment felt the need to fix it for W. in 1999.) [Update (8/19/07): Paul Weyrich also notes that the new system dangerously favors the big-money candidates.]

    The straw polls and grassroots events are still there however, which allow the grassroots candidates [as opposed to the Establishment ones] a chance to shine.

    ** I still need to post a recap of our experiences at the big Iowa Straw Poll [which has been, and still is, the mother of all Straw Poll events]. We have some video and photos from there as well, including some of us with some of the 2008 Republican presidential candidates... I wish there was more time available - so we could post some on the UIS College Republicans weblog too... There are so many other recaps [from our many events] that I wish I had the time to publish there as well.

    But I thought that, being one of the oldest Illinois Republican bloggers [or I should say: this being one of the oldest weblogs by an Illinois Republican], I should do an entry before this long day is through, with the results:
    All Republican candidates [or potential candidates] for President who were either 1) included the national GOP presidential debates or 2) garnered 5% or more in a national poll were listed on the ballot.]

    Illinois Straw Poll - Thursday, August 16, 2007

    Illinois for Mitt Romney Mitt Romney - 373 votes

    Blogs for Fred Thompson Fred Thompson - 184 votes

    Ron Paul Revolution Ron Paul - 174 votes

    Rudy Giuliani blog Rudy Giuliani - 107 votes

    Blogs for John McCain John McCain - 38 votes

    Mike Huckabee for President 2008 Mike Huckabee - 28 votes

    Blogs for Brownback: U.S. Senator Sam Brownback (R-KS) for President Sam Brownback - 10 votes

    Nathan Tabor on Duncan Hunter Duncan Hunter - 6 votes

    Tom Tancredo Tom Tancredo - 2 votes

    **** Illinois Straw Poll NOTES

    - Actor and former U.S. Senator Fred Thompson (R-TN) is not a declared candidate, but the popular downstate State Senator Bill Brady was advocating that we vote for him, in this Straw Poll.

    - Illinoisan John Cox is still a candidate (and has been, for the greatest amount of time), but the conservative leader and successful businessman was not on his own state's Straw Poll ballot, because he was neither in the GOP presidential debates, nor polled 5%, either of which criterion could have yielded inclusion.

    - And former Wisconsin Governor (and former U.S. Secretary for Health and Human Services) Tommy Thompson withdrew from the race, after a poor showing in the Iowa Straw Poll last Saturday... His older brother, the remarkably popular 2002 Libertarian Party gubernatorial nominee Ed Thompson, has [possibly] endorsed U.S. Congressman Ron Paul (R-TX) for President. Dr. Paul had a large, well-organized, and ultra-enthusiastic contingent at today's Illinois Straw Poll, as they did in Iowa. Ditto for Mitt Romney (who bused in a ton of people, from all over the state).

    Mitt Romney won both the Iowa Straw Poll and the Illinois Straw Poll

    I have saved two entries below this one, as unpublished drafts, to be filled in later, with recaps on the Iowa Straw Poll. Maybe, if I try really hard, and ingest an even higher-than-usual amount of caffeine this weekend, and maybe some Lexapro or Ritalin or B-complex vitamins, we just may get some recaps - from both the Iowa and Illinois Straw Polls, not to mention the CRNC Convention, etc... - published at the UIS College Republicans weblog, in addition to this one.


    Buy Nathan Tabor's new book on the United Nations: The Beast on the East River

    I wrote a somewhat-prescient [I suppose, now] Watchblog article featuring Nathan Tabor's past column about the Bricker Amendment... something that other commentators have more-recently addressed.

    I also just formatted and uploaded Nathan Tabor's article on 2008 Republican presidential candidate Duncan Hunter, the conservative U.S. Congressman (R-CA), for whom he is now an internet campaign consultant.

    Friday, August 10, 2007

    On to Iowa

    I was earlier in a rush to post my series of entries on the recent Biennial Convention of the College Republican National Committee... especially with Max Blumenthal's hatchet job on the College Republicans. It doesn't seem so urgent, and necessary to get off my chest now, though. I still plan to publish those, but during the past week or so, I've been rushing to plan a trip, for my College Republicans chapter (University of Illinois at Springfield) to the huge Iowa Straw Poll event.

    The Iowa Straw Poll is a huge event... perhaps the biggest event of the presidential primary season. It is currently being discussed, all over the television and print media. [latest news] [Ames Matters] [Regaining Luster]

    The last time there was an Iowa Straw Poll contest on the Republican side was in 1999. While the internet was definitely a major force in national campaigns and presidential politics at that time, now, the Blogosphere has specifically become key, in regards to the latest politics and current-events topics.

    Maurice's Gourmet Barbeque was tops at the 1999 Iowa Straw Poll... But was it there this time?

    U.S. Congressman Ron Paul (R-TX) has been doing great on the internet (with his presidential campaign, as opposed to others), like the "Buchanan Brigades" were, in 1995-1996 and in 1999, with Linda Muller's famous web work. [Note: To those individuals and groups who've complained about this, with regard to Dr. Paul, it's not about stacking the polls results, or about "spamming"; it's because many people on the web (though not as much in the Blogosphere, as I've before complained about) are pro-traditionalist conservatism, pro-libertarianism, or pro-Constitution... It may be related to other trends as well.]

    I was surprised to see that one of my old Blogosphere famous adversaries, Patrick Ruffini, has actually predicted that Ron Paul will finish a successful second in the Iowa Straw Poll.

    Support Dr. Ron Paul at the Iowa Straw Poll!?!

    [More on Ron Paul and Ames] [The Ron Paul Iowa Straw Poll Blog]

    U.S. Congressman Tom Tancredo (R-CO) is another excellent presidential candidate, with a great deal of grassroots conservative and constitutionalist support. Here is an Iowa campaign commercial for Mr. Tancredo. The Colorado Congressman's presidential campaign even has an "Iowa Idol" competition. (Update (8/13/07): I just found the weblog where I first saw this featured... It is still the top item listed, even though the event is over. Iowa Straw Poll )

    ---> Join "Team Tancredo" and Army Against Amnesty at the Iowa Straw Poll!!

    Good news article on Tom, from May (Denver Post)

    John Cox for President... Update (8/13/07): I had been surprised [very pleasantly, though!] to see that our old friend, Mr. John Cox, is participating in the Iowa Straw Poll.

    I had been surprised when I saw [perhaps on Capital Fax], during the Spring 2006 semester, that Mr. Cox was running for President of the United States... He was the first Republican candidate to formally announce. Many of us, here in Illinois, remember John Cox, from his runs for U.S. Senate in 2002 and 2003, and his subsequent run for Cook County Recorder of Deeds... He also had a radio show, up in the Chicago area.

    Though his candidacy is not widely-known, and he was unfortunately excluded from the presidential debates, the Cox campaign is definitely determined and energetic.

    [Update (8/14/07): And I just saw this news report, from a little over a year ago, which demonstrates how true this is, including for Iowa!]

    And the John Cox for President 2008 campaign website is superb: Cox 2008 - John Cox for President

    Review of John Cox's latest book, by our friend Nathan Tabor

    Will VOTE FRAUD Mess Up the Iowa Straw Poll?

    There have been concerns that vote fraud may affect the outcome of the Iowa Straw Poll, as has happened in the past. Linda Muller posted this important entry at Pat Buchanan's weblog, on this topic. In an entry I published here a few years ago, I noted that voter fraud may be what prevented Pat Buchanan from prevailing in the Republican presidential primary in 1996. Jim Condit of Network America uncovered strong evidence of vote fraud in the 1996 Iowa Caucus... Had Bob Dole done a few percentage points worse in that Caucus, he would have finished behind both Patrick Buchanan and Lamar Alexander, and he would have dropped out of the presidential race, as per his own statement.

    Will Vote Fraud, with the Diebold machines, stop Ron Paul and Tom Tancredo, like it did for Pat Buchanan in 1996?

    Also check out Bev Harris's Black Box Voting website.

    Update (8/13/07): Also check out this post, and the comment discussion thread there, at the new 'Conservative Heritage Times' weblog, which I recently found [and added to the sidebar of my war-related archive weblog.]

    Perhaps in response to the concerns about voter fraud at the Straw Poll event, the Iowa Republican Party issued this press release.

    Update (8/25/07): Latest news on the Diebold voting machines... Latest Blogosphere entries...

    Latest news on Diebold + Iowa... Latest blog entries on Diebold and Iowa


    Cyclone Conservatives - superb site!!

    Ames Straw Poll Blog

    Iowa Voice

    In Case You’re Not in Iowa … - Aug 11, 2007
    You can still follow all developments at today’s Republican Straw Poll, where Iowans ... keeps track of Iowa politics on her blog as does Bret Hayworth who ...
    New York Times - 1579 related articles »

    Tuesday, August 07, 2007

    Put that Facebook 'Note' (edited) here or later, and then those refutational entries.
    Not Acceptable
    Another Washington, D.C. trip ruined... unnecessarily

    I wanted to publish here the 'Note' I published on Facebook (which, by the way, it seems lately that bloggers are piling onto), right after coming back from the National College Republicans Convention last month.

    In this note, I mentioned the Young America's Foundation "Midwest Conference," in April, in Minnesota, which the UIS College Republicans were at. Since the time I wrote this note last month however, something tragic has taken place, regarding where we were in April, for that YAF Midwest Conference (this is different from the Washington, D.C. event that we were at last month). It was probably on the night of the 1st (of this month) that I received a phone call from Matt Mau, letting me know that the bridge we had gone over, in traveling to Minneapolis, from Springfield, Illinois, had just collapsed.
    [ Latest news on the Minnesota Bridge Collapse, courtesy of Google Latest news on the Minnesota Bridge Collapse... ]
    [ Latest blog entries on the Minnesota Bridge Collapse, courtesy of Google Latest Blogosphere reactions to the Minnesota Bridge Collapse... ]

    (I-35 West) Minnesota Bridge Collapse - image from Wikipedia

    Tragedies like that make the problems that we are dealing with, in our daily lives, seem trivial in comparison.


    Facebook 'Note' - Published July 16, 2007

    Within a 3-year time period, this was the 6th trip to Washington, D.C., that I have organized (or in the case of the Virginia 2005 gubernatorial election, helped organize), for the UIS College Republicans.

    At the major conservative/CR regional and national events, the UIS CRs typically has the biggest delegation of any organization in Illinois (11 total at CPAC 2006, 8 at the YAF Midwest Conference, 4 at the CRNC 2007 Biennial Convention)... I don't think anyone remembers that, though; the high turnover rate many of these D.C. organizations have, in their staff, is also very problematic.

    During the earlier conferences and conventions we've attended in D.C., there were bad parts, and good parts, but I usually ended up very much enjoying the experience.

    The two most recent times however, my experiences in D.C. have led to a overall negative impression of the events. I should not have been forced to deal with almost all of aspects of each trip, including the before, during, and after.

    As I said here, most people don't realize how much behind-the-scenes planning, labor, TIME, and MONEY goes into planning each event, whether domestically, or across state lines. On several occasions, I have warned people that potential trouble was brewing, and that I should not have to be dealing with all of this. In some cases, they have ignored this, and continued to take everything for granted.

    With our trip that just concluded, the media has reported that it went smoothly.

    But (with the exception of our undoubtedly-blessed trip to the Presidential Inauguration), almost no trip or convention truly runs smoothly.

    This really cannot happen again.


    Fred Thompson speaks to us
    Note: I didn't catch his faux pau (re: Barry Goldwater and Russell Kirk), but the person right in front of us did.

    Associated Press video coverage (featuring the great Ryan Sorba, who I was glad I got to meet there, along with Francisco Gonzalez - whose sidebar link I now have corrected, at my secondary weblog)

    Trackbacked to Samantha Burns: OTA Weekend and Point Five and 'Stop the ACLU.'