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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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    Monday, September 17, 2007

    Constitution Day 2007
    I almost forgot!

    The last time I did an entry on this was four years ago, and I had recently made a mental note to do one this year... but it had slipped my mind (until I saw this entry listed on the "BNN Bulletin - Conservative Blogs" feed, in the sidebar of Scott's Morning Brew (after just going back to an entry there at which I had commented the other day).

    I wanted to get this entry saved, before this day is over. Naturally, I just went over to the home page of The Conservative Caucus, which emphasizes this event on a regular basis. Sure enough, they have a major event planned, in the D.C. area: (It apparently just ended...)

    You are invited to attend
    The 2007 Constitution Day Event in Arlington, VA, September 17, 2007
    Free Admission

    Call 703-938-9626 or Email to reserve your seat

    7:00pm-10:00pm at the Holiday Inn Rosslyn
    1900 N. Fort Meyer Drive, Arlington, VA 22209 703-807-2000

    Celebrating September 17, 1787
    when the Constitution of the United States was adopted.

    Free Admission

    7:00 PM
    Howard Phillips
    Introductory Remarks

    7:15 PM
    Professor Brad Smith
    Campaign Regulation and the First Amendment

    8:00 PM
    Thomas A. DeWeese
    The North American Union

    8:45 PM Presentation by Howard Phillips of the Andrew Jackson Champion of Liberty Award to Lev Navrozov, Columnist and Author

    9:00 PM Remarks by Lev Navrozov

    10:00 PM

    Howard Phillips

    Closing remarks


    As I've said before, for this occasion, it would be great if our elected leaders - of either party - could actually adhere to the U.S. Constitution, at least once in awhile.

    But many of those same people who claim to be against the "living document" interpretation of the U.S. Constitution, and in favor of "originalism" and the "strict constructionist" view, are hypocrites, when it comes to applying constitutionalists priniciples to matters such as states' rights, global trade, warfare and military interventionism, and overall foreign policy matters.

    When a Republican is president, it seems that so many "conservatives" no longer care about "original intent" and "strict constructionist" doctrines, but are fine with shredding the U.S. Constitution, to meet ends that they desire. That type of hypocrisy makes me sick.

    I recently saw a blog comment post, at one of those many "conservative" bloggers' entries, attacking U.S. Congressman Ron Paul (R-TX), and his presidential candidacy, saying that the U.S. Constitution does not require Congress to declare war, before our nation can go to war... The commenter actually asserted that the Constitution says that Congress has the power to make war, but that that doesn't preclude the President of the United States from taking our country to war, on his own!!

    The depths that today's "conservatism" has sunken to are truly tragic.

    And it is also truly tragic that a candidate for President of the United States, who simply believes in adhering to the orginial principles of the United States Constitution, is smeared by "conservatives" as a "nutjob," a "truther," a ...

    I just checked the official campaign websites of all the 2008 Republican presidential candidates, and Dr. Paul's campaign site is the only one that mentions Constitution Day.

    It figures.

    Saturday, September 15, 2007

    Five-Year Site Statistics

    Before my 'Blogiversary' (see entry below) day is over, I wanted to record on this blog, my weblog's hit stats.

    My CQCounter is the most accurate for this, since it was started on September 24, 2002; I was deciding on hit counters, and found that a lot of new ones had become available, since I had used them last; a I later came to believe that SiteMeter was better, but I didn't add that counter till later.

    I almost never visit my own blog; when I need things looked at, I've asked Pieter or others to do so; Patrick Carver and J.D. Talley have also helped out. Also, there were points at which the hit counter failed, or in which my blog had problems; plus, I have learned that SiteMeter (which is perhaps the most accurate of the free hit counters) misses a lot of traffic... So I assume that CQCounter does as well.

    Nonetheless, here is the CQCounter traffic summary, as of 11:50 PM central time, on Sept. 15, 2007:


    Period: 1818 Share Unique Reload Total

    Average Daily 26 17 43
    Average Weekly 187 120 307
    Average Monthly 812 520 1,332
    Java Script (67.83%) 41,196 13,033 54,229
    Java Enabled (65.99%) 39,902 12,857 52,759
    Accept Cookies (17.79%) 10,942 3,282 14,224
    via Proxy Server (4.28%) 2,480 942 3,422
    via Search Engine (21.64%) 14,089 3,215 17,304
    Direct hits (44.29%) 13,932 21,479 35,411
    Own referrers (4.60%) 1,024 2,650 3,674
    Referrers (51.11%) 33,782 7,081 40,863
    All referrers (55.71%) 34,806 9,731 44,537
    All hits (100.00%) 48,738 31,210 79,948

    (Nope - no one ever showed me how to do tables on Blogger; I tried it, with one of my very first entries, on Miss America Erika Harold, and it didn't work too well. I think that Blogger had a hard time with tables at that time, but with the changes, perhaps that problem has been fixed. I have more pressing things to figure out though, in the present.)

    That last line, for All hits, says:

    Unique Hits: 48,738

    Reload Hits: 31,210

    Total Hits: 79,948

    I know that updating more frequently - and not having had so many hiatuses - would have yielded more traffic... But that's just the way things are, sometimes.

    Period Current Last Average Highest Date
    Day 15 19 26 223 23-Mar-2005
    Week 152 123 187 579 Week 12, 2005
    Month 318 474 812 1,807 March, 2005
    Year 3,600 7,323 9,747 14,629 2005

    TOP Value Share Hits

    Day of Week Monday (16.4%) 13,128
    Hour 14:00 - 14:59 (5.9%) 4,711
    Operating System Windows 2000 / XP (81.3%) 64,962
    Browser MSIE 6 (76.3%) 61,028
    Color Depth 32 bits true (48.0%) 38,408
    Screen Resolution 1024x768 (37.6%) 30,088
    Search Engine Google (10.6%) 8,496
    Continent North America (95.6%) 42,565
    Country/Domain Commercial (88.0%) 39,214
    Language English (95.3%) 76,224
    Time Zone GMT +12:00 (22.8%) 18,214

    Friday, September 14, 2007

    Five-Year Blogiversary

    Tomorrow (September 15th, 2007), "University Blog" will turn five years old.

    I remembered a 'Blogiversary Database' that I had entered this weblog's birthday into, but with all the change that's taken place in the Blogosphere [see below], I didn't know if that information would still be there. (I doubt this blog is still in the Blogs4God aggregator, and I know it is not in BlogWise, or BlogTree - as neither of those sites is even up.)

    I was glad however, to see that the Blogiversary Database is in fact still up, and still has all the data.

    THANK YOU, Mr. Jim Lynch (who was also one of my first Blogosphere Facebook 'Friends')!

    I see that 'The Talk Show American' also has its fifth 'Blog birthday' tomorrow. Congratulations, JR!


    This weblog was started during somewhat-brighter times (for me, at least) - the Fall 2002 semester. As I noted shortly thereafter, I thought that starting a blog was one of the neatest things I did, that term.

    Back then, most people I knew did not seem to know what "blog" meant... That would change, in a couple of years.

    Also back then, there were fewer sites in the Blogosphere, and things were much simpler; there did not seem to be all of these memes, Blogosphere communities and blogrolls, etc...

    I have said before that I am someone who does not like change; it has been depressing to see how so many high-quality weblogs and websites that were up at that time, are either no longer running, or worse - no longer online.

    Especially since I became Chairman of the capital-city College Republicans chapter, I have periodically been out of the Blogosphere loop, and my blog updating has also been low. This became clear during this calendar year, for which I did not have a single new entry published; there have been a ton of serious problems I've had to deal with, during the past year especially (though some before that, as well); that has also impacted this. I don't know how much longer I'll be able to keep this up, but I hope to be blogging for some time longer.


    One issue that I had raised, in my comments at Hoosier Review and elsewhere, is that while there was a diversity of opinion, among conservatives, with regarding to Iraq and foreign policy, that diversity was not reflected in the Blogosphere - particularly, not in the youth segment of it.

    This site is perhaps the only right-wing collegiate or youth conservative blog that took a strong stance against the current Iraq war, before it began. Since that time howevever, there have been more blogs that have started (including by students and youth) that adhere to the traditionalist conservative philosophy. There is still a great deal of work to be done though, in that regard.

    This blog has dealt with some issues, observations, and news & opinion items, which had been neglected by many others... Several of these topics later became prominent topics of discussion. But I don't want to to get into that here [There'll be time for that, in the future ;-) .]

    For now, I just wanted to publish a Blogiversary post - the first time I've done so, at this site.

    I want to extend a strong measure of gratitude to those bloggers and webmasters who have linked to this weblog, in past years, and to those who have done entries, linking to posts published here.

    I also want to very much thank those people - college students, and many others - who I have gotten to know, through the Blogosphere, the web, e-mail, and AIM, since I started this blog.

    I want to thank those of you who have been courteous, thoughtful, and understanding, when I have posted comments at your blogs - even when you have disagreed with my point of view.

    In those cases where I've posted comments or blog entries based on a misunderstanding of your position, or in which I've failed to make my point clearly (and thus caused myself to be misunderstood), or in which I've posted remarks that you felt were rude or off-topic, I apologize.

    To those who have responded, to my points and positions, by disagreeing, and making clear why you disagree, and have backed up your points with facts or information, I want to thank you, for engaging in civil debate. The Blogosphere is supposed to be about dialectics and dialogue - something that should help up learn from each other.

    And to those of you who have responded, to the points I've attempted to make during these past years, with labels, name-calling, ad hominem attacks, and false judgements and accusations - Shame on you.

    Trackbacked to bRight & Early and to Church and State and to Cao's Blog.

    Tuesday, September 11, 2007

    *Never Forget*


    Sunday, September 09, 2007

    Deaths and Explanations
    Great Americans are dropping like flies, while I struggle to dig myself out of a hole

    I published two entries right below [as well as couple new ones, further down, which had been saved as drafts]. The two below are tribute posts to two recently-deceased individuals, libertarian filmmaker Aaron Russo and top Reagan White House advisor Michael Deaver. As I noted in one of the posts below those two, I would like to write something [perhaps as an external article] on Leona Helmsley as well, in light of her passing.

    And I decided I wanted to post something, on the two-year anniversary of the sudden death of Jude Wanniski. I realized, when writing the post two below, on the passing of Michael Deaver, and reading the beginning of Mike Krempasky's obituary at RedState, that other key advisors to President Ronald Reagan had also passed away recently, I feel bad about not having done entries on them; regretably-belated posts on Lyn Nofziger, Jeane Kirpatrick, and Caspar Weinberger are on my to-do list, for posting next, on this weblog. And I would like to write about former President Gerald Ford as well, like I did at this blog, when he turned 90 - that was also part of a series of entries, on The American Presidency (tangential to a course I was taking at the time). Back then, I was much, much more able to do these things efficiently - both blogging-wise, and academically. [I deal with these problematic issues, further below in this entry.] Now that I have retired as the Chairman of the capital-city College Republicans organization, perhaps some of that vigor and vitality will come back.

    When I was planning the series of entries, as described above, I went over to 'In the Agora,' and was shocked [though maybe not that much, because this is something that keeps happening now, it seems], to see that Christian leader Dr. D. James Kennedy had now passed away.

    [catching my breath...]

    [Update (9/14/07): I had saved this entry as a draft, but before it was published, I went over to Chapomatic, and saw that his latest blog entry was on another passing... The author of one of my favorite books from elementary school, Madeline L'Engle, has passed away.]

    I don't think I'll be able to do an entry on the passing of Luciano Pavarotti, though I see, from the latest AOL Hot Searches compilation, that pancreatic cancer is what caused his demise, a phrase that I included in the Michael Deaver entry, as it is what he suffered from as well. The death of Aaron Russo came as a shock to me, but I didn't know that he had also been suffering from cancer, for the past six years (from bladder cancer). The sidebar of the UIS College Republicans blog, still has the 'Relay for Life' image and link at the top; the deadline for that was the 31st (nine days ago); I wish I had moved it up the sidebar sooner. Team "College Republicans" raised $610.00 this year, for the American Cancer Society. I also included a link there to Lance Armstrong's website, as he arranged recent candidate forums, first for the 2008 Democratic presidential candidates, and then for the 2008 Republican presidential candidates, which dealt with this horrible disease. I think that Tony Snow would also appreciate this.

    The upcoming series of posts will be somber, but it help keep alive the memory of influential Americans, who are no longer with us (at least not physically, though the impact of their work continued to be felt today).

    With those posts, it may not be until the next "next month" (October) that I finally get published my in-depth polemics, on the "Operation Yellow Elephant" meme, and why it is actually harming the antiwar movement. My thoughts about this, and an update on my current situation, is right below.


    I wrote myself a note two weeks ago, regarding this blog, that I think I'm going to wait till next month [i.e. - this month, September] to do the series of entries refuting Max "Son of a Blumenthal" Blumenthal's hatchet job on the College Republican National Convention, while addressing the "Operation Yellow Elephant" meme, from the perspective of an antiwar conservative - and one who does, in fact, believe in the 'chickenhawk' argument (as long as it's used against the appropriate people).

    In less than a week, this site will have its 5-year 'Blogiversary'. As many people know, I have been opposing the Iraq war here, since before it began; this is one of the few conservative sites in the Blogosphere, for which this is the case, and perhaps the only conservative collegiate or youth weblog, which opposed the Iraq war, from its tragic beginning.

    When I first became a College Republican, Bill Clinton (Baby Blumenthal's father's boss and professional media character assassin) was still President. I was anti-war at that time, as were most conservatives and Republicans (as well as some principled liberals), and as I have pointed out - numerous times before, at this blog, and elsewhere - Democrats & liberals support warfare and military interventionism more often than conservatives and Republicans do.

    I don't want to get ahead of myself... I will do a series of entries, refuting the "Operation Yellow Elephant" nonsense, and the deceptions of MiniMax and his ilk. That series will be very LONG - and perhaps published as a working paper.


    Right now, the semester has started to heat up - Despite the major problems that have been taking place, this past year especially, and through this summer, I have re-registered for Graduate School once again. I have a HUGE Final Report due, for my Internship in the Electoral Process, regarding the last Spring Elections, and a great deal of work remaining from a prior semester's Graduate course as well, which I should have gotten completed by now, but was not able to do so, due to a number of unfortunate situations and circumstances that arose this summer.

    Like I said last winter, I need to make a lot of very-major decisions, and time is running out. In that entry, I used this article, as a possible springboard, of how things can still get done, even after time has passed [Cold Case is on right now, and I've started watching those episodes, as they seem motivational as well]. But in looking at "Offbeat" news stories a few days ago, I saved this item, about Queen guitarist Brian May - or I should say, Dr. Brian May!! - and I saved this one, about new/old football linebacker Mike Flynt.

    These examples are much more extreme [re: the number of years], than the situations I've had to face, but there are many people who are of that age, who accomplish their goals, even after a great deal of time has passed. I think I need to better determine what my goals actually should be (though perhaps not?), but maybe it isn't too late for that.

    Wednesday, September 05, 2007

    Purchase the film TODAY, at low cost, from!

    Freedom Fighter Aaron Russo, R.I.P

    It was on Saturday (August 25th) that I was surprised to see the e-mail from my friend Chris Bennett, to the Springfield, IL Ron Paul Meetup group, entitled "Freedom Fighter Died Today." It said:

    My good friend and producer Aaron Russo passed away today.

    I remember Aaron Russo was a candidate for President of the United States in 2004. I had not been able to go up to St. Charles with Chris, on March 18, 2006, when the Illinois screening was held, for Mr. Russo's documentary film, America: From Freedom to Fascism.

    I remember, that Saturday morning, State Senator Steven Rauschenberger's family members were going to be down here in Springfield, to go "sign-ing"... I was supposed to meet up with them, and help with that (the Senator was running for Lieutenant Governor of Illinois, after withdrawing from the Governor's race), but was too worn out to do that either. [Note: Could now-former Senator Steve Rauschenberger be running for something else, in the near future?]

    Aaron Russo's exciting film - America: From Freedom to Fascism At earlier College Republicans meetings, we discussed that upcoming movie event, which was at the Arcada Theater in St. Charles (suburban Chicago). Chris later talked about doing a screening of this film on our campus... He also mentioned that the entire movie has been put onto Google Video.

    Our old paleo-conservative/libertarian friend, Mr. Lee R. Shelton IV (of Ever Vigilant) has, as one of his latest blog entries, a tribute to Aaron Russo.

    I was thinking of doing a blog posting with that documentary film on Google Video, but having such little time to blog, during this period (and still having a backlog of stuff to write about), I am glad that Mr. Shelton has included the movie, in that entry of his.

    Besides, I still don't even know how to do video embedding, in blog entries.

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

    Audio CD read by the author!

    A Different Drummer

    When President Ronald Reagan passed away, three summers ago (and five days into my first term as Chairman of the College Republicans), I posted blog entries at this blog, at the College Republicans blog, and at Watchblog, and I issued a statement, on behalf of the College Republicans at the University of Illinois at Springfield. I almost forgot - A photo of me, at the Reagan statue in the Reagan Peace Garden at Eureka College, was placed on the AP Wire, and appeared in several newspapers, including the front page of the Peoria Journal-Star.

    On the afternoon of the day this occurred (Saturday, June 5th), I spoke to Tom Gillespie, and he recommended A Different Drummer, by Michael Deaver, as a good book on President Reagan. I had seen that book before, but I did not know if it was a pro-Reagan book or not.

    As it turns out, Mr. Michael Keith Deaver served in the first term of the Reagan Administration as the White House Deputy Chief of Staff, from 1981 to 1985.

    He passed away a few weeks ago, of pancreatic cancer, at his Bethesda, Maryland home. Mr. Deaver was 69. He is survived by his wife, Mrs. Carolyn Deaver, and their two children, Amanda Deaver of Washington, D.C. and Blair Deaver of Bend, Oregon.

    I was just thinking about how I was out-of-state (I think it was during one of my trips to California... or as I was returning from it) when I found out that Donald Regan had passed away; I knew that Mr. Regan was also an important member of the Reagan Administration, who served as the U.S. Secretary of the Treasury. I just saw, when looking at the Wikipedia encyclopedia article on Michael Deaver, that Mr. Deaver actually served under Don Regan, and under White House Chief of Staff James Baker III (who has been in the news most recently, for his opposition to the neocons, with regard to Iraq). I was confused as to how Michael Deaver could have also served under Don Regan, but then I saw this document at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library Collections, mentioning how Regan and Baker had switched jobs (also dealt with in that Paul Craig Roberts column), thereby giving Deaver a new boss, for the last few months of his service as Deputy White House Chief of Staff, under the greatest President of our time.

    While serving in President Ronald Reagan's White House as Deputy Chief of Staff, Michael Deaver Michael Deaver, James Baker III then-Chief of Staff James Baker III, and Edwin Meese III then-Counsellor to the President Edwin Meese III were known as "The Troika" by some, due to their large degree of influence over national policy, through their key advisory roles.

    Michael K. Deaver also served as the Presidential Liason for the 1984 Olympic Games, the U.S. Olympic Committee, and the International Olympic Committee, and as the General Chairman of the 1985 Inaugural Committee.

    After his service in the White House, and subsequent legal difficulties, Michael Deaver served as the Vice Chairman, of Edelman International:

    Brian Koss, like myself, has a Bachelors in Political Science, and is going for a Masters. (Though unlike myself, I hope he is making major progress, in that regard.) I just found Brian's blog, and he re-prints the Washington Post article on Michael Deaver's passing.

    Another weblog I also just found, "Culture and Christianity," did an entry, also recommending Michael Deaver's A Different Drummer, which was recommended to me, as described above. When searching for something in my room the other day, I noticed that the newest paperback version of that book was one that I purchased, when I was out-of-state, some months ago. (I haven't had a chance to read it, though.)

    I don't know much about Elijah Garcia (I also just found his blog), but his post on Michael K. Deaver's passing is the most thoughtful one I've seen. He references the audio version of that book, which I learn is actually read by Mr. Deaver himself!

    The Audio CD is available at (new or used), for as low as $3.99 !!

    And last, but not least, our old friend Mike Krempasky of Red State has this insightful and penetrating tribute to Michael Deaver. (I plan to do something on Jude Wanniski - the two year anniversary of his passing - as part of this series of posts, and I mentioned Donald Regan above, but I had temporarily forgotten about Lyn Nofziger and Jeanne Kirkpatrick and Caspar Weinberger, who I had never gotten a chance to blog about... Mike reminds us about them, and I think this may actually be the best Michael K. Deaver tribute I've seen, in the Blogosphere.)

    As you can see in that poignant post, Mike Krempasky works for Edelman, the public relations firm which Michael Deaver was International Vice-Chairman of, as noted above, so he actually knew Mr. Deaver.

    The Troika: Chief of Staff James Baker III, Counsellor to the President Ed Meese, Deputy Chief of Staff Michael Deaver at the White House. December 2, 1981
    The Troika: Chief of Staff James Baker III, Counsellor to the President Ed Meese, Deputy Chief of Staff Michael Deaver at the White House. December 2, 1981