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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 29, 2008

    Draft Notice II
    [Here was Draft Notice I]
    In another rare case of completion, I this weekend published a working entry that I had saved as a draft. (This one was simpler than last time, as it is mainly a list... Then again, in the last one, Shania Twain did all the composition work for me. ;-)

    Published Saturday, from the Bloomington, IL [BMI] Airport (CIRA), after dropping a family member off:
    icon with a hand pointing to my blog entry's link icon with a hand pointing to my blog entry's link The CR Crew
    Some of the STORM 'Top 40' College Republican National Committee contest winners, at the Embassy Suites hotel in St. Paul

    One of the post-Convention recaps...

    I was just thinking this evening how I need to get those recap entries (with audio, video, and photos!!), regarding the Republican National Convention earlier this month, published before September ends... That way, despite these frustrating delays, I can at least say that they are regarding the Convention "earlier this month" :-)... I didn't realize that it was already the 28th, though.

    It is unfortunate that time is ticking so fast... My job search has had no real luck, so far.

    The stock market is crashing, the subprime mortgage housing crisis is looming, and bailout plans are pending. [ Update: Here is the U.S. House of Representatives roll call vote, from earlier today, on the bailout plan [H.R. 3997 - Financial Markets Bill]. (H/t: Kristin Cohn, via one of the Top 100 "Google Trends" items currently, via Google zeitgeist. Our friend Michelle Malkin also has posted the entire U.S. House roll call list, in alphabetical order, regarding today's bailout bill, and had also live-blogged the floor debate. Dr. Flap did something a bit similar, but used Twitter... That's an interesting idea, to Twit in lieu of live-blog posting.) Isn't it interesting how things happen, when "The Hammer" (the Hon. Tom Delay) is gone? What would have been ideal, at the present time, is to have had Congressman John Shadegg Red-bullet icon, leading to the official U.S. House of Representatives home page of Congressman John Shadegg as the U.S. House Minority Leader, instead of Blunt or Boehner. Also check out The Recession Reader, which is a useful compilation of the "Austrian"-type, and other liberty-minded, perspectives, on this current market mess, from our friends at And an overview of right-of-center Blogosphere reactions is compiled by RightVoices. Especially interesting (and unique) in her response was Cassandra of the "Villainous Company" weblog. ]
    David Frum says: Don't use!! - - - - - - - - Burton S. Blumert's GOLD PRICE page

    Saturday Night Live is still mocking and spinning, bobbing and weaving, lampooning and roasting.

    Erin Brockovich is still hustling and fear-mongering and blackmailing and using and exploiting and grandstanding, and fear-mongering again, all the while, making more and more money. [latest news] It's troubling how so many people (apparently including even "conservative" bloggers), have been duped into confusing Hollywood with reality. Although, Brockovich may have redeemed herself a little, through her recent praise of Vice-Presidential nominee Alaska Governor Sarah Palin (and perhaps also due to her official endorsement and public advocacy of former California Assemblyman Tony Strickland, for CA State Senate (apparently against the interest of liberal Republicans (and "political centrists). [Update: but alongside those of the Chamber of Commerce.] Red-bullet icon, leading to the official campaign website of Tony Strickland for California State Senate

    Election Day is drawing closer and closer.

    Senator John McCain keeps recycling the leftist/neocon Clintonian lie about "genocide" in Kosovo, insulting the memory of people such as the heroic war reporter Daniel Pearl, one of the people who debunked those Clinton/Blair/NATO deceptions. Everyone keeps overlooking the strong ties between the militant Muslims of the Balkans and Osama bin Laden/al-Qaeda and also specifically to the 9/11 terrorist attacks (not to mention drug trafficking, sex slavery, and organized crime) - even calling them "moderate Muslims" (so that these commentators can preserve their pre-conceived notions and neoliberal/neoconservative ideologies, while WHITEwashing the Jihadi threats posed by the KLA and other Islamic terrorists of Europe) - while also giving people like Clinton, Lieberman, and McCain a pass for their past support of these bin Laden-linked terrorists.

    Senator Barack Obama keeps displaying his inexperience and ignorance, on foreign and domestic affairs. The media keeps giving him a pass, on his far-left views, and he somehow seems to still not be lumped in with the other "Chicago Democrats" (as he deserves to be).

    Governor Sarah Palin continues to be lampooned, judged, and picked apart by the liberal media and the "conservative elite" (such as the beautiful Kathleen Parker, the confused Katherine Jean-Lopez ["K-Lo"], and the neocon leftist David Frum)... not to mention Tina Fey and Saturday Night Live. This is causing the jubilee surrounding her selection to start to fade somewhat.

    The Political Machine 2008 - Buy used at!! One thing I also was going to mention in this "Draft Notice" is that my blogging time (time behind the laptop) was, during the past couple of days, having to be shared with the political machine. Make that: The Political Machine (2008).

    In the Fall 2004 semester, Jonathan (who was one of my roommate - at "Republican headquarters" [Pennyroyal 18] on the UIS campus) introduced me (and then later, Mike Tosh and perhaps others) to The Political Machine.

    When I was in Wal-Mart last week (sorry, Dr. Sipe! ;-), I decided to go by their software section, in part to check out what they had, in the way of WYSIWYG web design software, as my Adobe PageMill 3.0 no longer works (I was glad to discover last night though, that I'm not the only one with this problem!! - and that it's not a problem on my end - darn that Vista!). I was pleasantly surprised to see that (in addition to there being a newly-released (and amended) version of The Sims 2 - Deluxe Edition** [why couldn't it have been there 10 months ago, when I bought it??], there is a "2008" edition of The Political Machine. And then...

    Well, the rest of the story was already published... See here, if you want. And yes, the 2008 version is GREAT, and significantly enhanced, since the last (2004) version. And yes, there indeed seems to be a way to download "custom content," like there is for The Sims (though I haven't tried it out yet... Only that Palin-Biden patch, which comes direct from the company (Stardock, via Impulse). [Note: The "Express" version of The Political Machine 2008 is available as a free download.]

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

    One more thing, regarding the issue of software and versions thereof: One idea that I've had, for awhile, but never gotten into the business of, is to do websites (for a small fee), for county/local Republican candidates, as well as for businesses or others. The last-minute website that I created, for City Council candidate Frank Lesko (now, Alderman Lesko!) was widely-impressive, to those in Sangamon County... The Alderman said, at Chairman Tony Libri's fundraiser this summer, that he is still getting comments about it!

    With Adobe PageMill not working anymore (due to my new laptop having the Vista operating system), and with too little time to manually write the code (especially if I'm going to be creating and managing multiple sites at once - including those for candidates and organizations), a good replacement WYSIWYG program is essential. I thought that, since the new version of Dreamweaver (which is now also an Adobe product) was slated for release last week, it would be a good time to finally make the switch (I mean, PageMill was replaced, though by Adobe GoLive, shortly after [or maybe even before!] I began using it... and I've never used GoLive). However, I was disappointed to see last night that while the new edition of Adobe Dreamweaver (CS4) was, in fact, announced last week (September 23) [latest news], it won't be released for general purchase until around Election Day!!

    If anyone knows of a retail "swap"-type program, in which I could purchase the current version of Dreamweaver now, and then get it replaced with the new one, when it comes out in about a month (but not have to purchase that upgrade - which costs $199.00!!), please let me know.

    Ditto, if you know of a way to get Adobe GoLive (which was only discontinued this past April) cheaply. Please let me know... Also, if you have one that I can purchase - or if you can help me out (that will soon be my 3rd-ever Blogosphere bleg with PayPal) in purchasing this much-needed software, that will be greatly appreciated!! (I will need assistance with buying the new Adobe Dreamweaver CS4 anyway, when it debuts. No one donated last time [towards the Republican National Convention expenses], or earlier, but you can still do so and help me out, at this PayPal link.)

    **Update: I left out one word - The title for that new edition of The Sims 2 is The Sims 2: Double Deluxe. It is the same prices (under $30.00 at Wal-Mart) as The Sims 2: Deluxe was, but it throws in The Sims 2: Celebration! Stuff (in addition to the main game, and Nightlife). One thing I mentioned to the Wal-Mart*** software guy, is that perhaps I could sell my The Sims 2: Deluxe (purchased in December, which I wish I had never done... and not because of the new edition - Because that game is freakin' addicting!!), and then buy the Double Deluxe edition. (I am not going to try to download it, from RapidShare ;-)... [They should go after those foreigners, who bootleg like this.]

    Despite having a hard time finding anyone who played The Sims, in this area (I finally did, at the Relay for Life), it seems to be topping the charts, once again, this summer. (Crap, summer is now officially over... Time certainly is, in fact, moving too fast!)

    Economy in Crisis - A website that has become even more relevant now... Though it was before, as well

    Sunday, September 21, 2008

    Breaking News: UIS student shot (near campus!) and killed TODAY

    This is too important to preface (or suffix) the way I've been doing (somewhat OCD-like), with these latest entries.

    Despite its name (and url), I've only infrequently covered UIS (University of Illinois at Springfield) issues here, since this blog began (in the Fall 2002 semester).

    Though I'm not enrolled in any classes right now, I stopped by the UIS campus late this evening, after church. I just wanted to drive around and see how things were. I did not know however, until seeing the WICS (ABC News Channel 20) telelvision nightly news, that this morning, a UIS student was shot and killed. And this happened very close to campus (at the Mobile gas station [Super Pantry], on the corner of Stevenson and West Lake Shore Drive [or Stevenson and Taylor Avenue - See here]).

    You can watch the news clip, which will load and start playing automatically, at the WICS-News Channel 20 home page:

    (Though when I went there, to find out more info, after I saw it on the nightly news an hour ago, the website was still showing what must have been their newscast from earlier in the day. I say this because when I saw that online news video, it still said that the victim had not been identified, as the authorities wanted to notify her family first. She has since been identified... The online news video will hopefully have been updated, by the time you view it.)

    ---- From the latest follow-up e-mail, sent to all UIS people today ----

    Sangamon County Coroner Susan Boone has released the name of the UIS student who was fatally shot Sunday morning at the Super Pantry, 2700 Stevenson Drive. Linda Caldwell, 46, was a new transfer student majoring in communications. She lived on campus in Clover Court. No arrests have been made as of yet and the Springfield Police Department is continuing to investigate the case.

    University of Illinois at Springfield
    Police Department
    One University Plaza
    Springfield, IL 62703-5407


    The night newscast said that the police have a suspect in mind, but no arrests have been made yet. If you have any information about this crime, please contact our area's division of CrimeStoppers:

    Call: (217) 788-8427 or (800) 397-2288


    Text Message: TIP672 + your tip, to 274637 [info and instructions here]


    Submit your tip online


    WCIA (Urbana-Champaign): UIS Student Killed Overnight

    Chicago Tribune: Springfield police seek killer of UIS student
    [Noticed same article published at South Carolina newspaper's site... and elsewhere]

    Though it wasn't linked to on the front page of our city's daily newspaper's website this evening, it was in the 'breaking news' section:
    State Journal-Register: Officials identify fatally shot UIS student

    I didn't know, till doing that Google News search tonight, and finding a section of a news story, also at my local paper's site, that only about a month ago, there was another gun-related incident, involving the same location... This one involving young men. Though it also involved vehicles and firearms, in that case, the individuals apparently were not hurt... Or at least, they weren't killed. Thank God.

    I should have posted this, as soon as it came in:

    Sent (Monday, Sept. 22), by Cheryl Peck, university spokesperson:

    Warrant issued in shooting death

    Followup on death of UIS student

    A warrant has been issued for the arrest of LaDarryl C. House in the shooting death of UIS student Linda Caldwell. The state warrant was issued last night with bond of $2 million for House who lives at 226 East 12J Street in Chicago. Ms. Caldwell, 46, was shot and killed early Sunday morning at the Mobil Super Pantry, 2600 Stevenson Drive. She was a first-year transfer student who was majoring in Communication. She lived on campus in Clover Court and was from Bloomington, Illinois.

    Counselors are available all day today in the Counseling Center for students who might need to talk.
    We will continue to keep you informed about developments in the case.

    And, right after that... from UIS Police Department Chief Don Mitchell:

    State Warrant on LaDarryl C. House

    Please be advised I have just been informed by the Springfield Police Department that LaDarryl C. House has been arrested. Also recovered the weapon believed to be used in the crime.

    Thanks for your cooperation.

    Don Mitchell


    UIS Police Department

    Phone: 217/206-6690 Fax: 217/206-7511

    Cell: 217/306-6084 DC: 188*106*7513


    LaDarryl C. House
    State Journal-Register: Police nab suspect in gas station homicide: Warrant issued in fatal shooting, JAYETTE BOLINSKI

    Wednesday, September 17, 2008

    Happy CONSTITUTION Day!!

    The University of Illinois at Springfield (UIS) is holding a Constitution Day event, on the freedom of the press. The Center for State Policy and Leadership is co-sponsoring this event.

    At this point, there is no way I can make it to campus for most of the event, so I trying to watch online, as that news release says we can.

    Washington, D.C. today

    I just saw Patrick Gleason's (who I had met, when Grover Norquist was here in Springfield, for the fifth-anniversary luncheon of the Illinois Policy Institute) latest Twitter post, about the weekly "Wednesday Meeting" (of the "Leave Us Alone" Coalition) this morning (at this point on the East Coast though, it's no longer "morning"). I was thinking about how nice it would be, to be in D.C. today, as the annual (and previously-blogged-about-here) Constitution Day Event of The Conservative Caucus is once again taking place.

    This is FREE, and open to the public, and it doesn't start until 6:30 PM (EST), and runs until about 10:00 PM. Here are the details, from The Conservative Caucus.

    The Conservative Caucus logo

    I have a number of errands to run this afternoon (I'm getting nagged right now, even), and I'm going to try to stop by campus, too late for the Constitution Day dialogue event, but will try to check out what's happening, regarding the Student Government (SGA) Election, in which at least three of the UIS College Republicans are candidates - all in contested races. (Thereare a lot of candidates, this time around!)

    I am no longer a Graduate student, this semester (am still in the process of getting trying to find a good job), but I should try to be at least somewhat-apprised, of what is happening, insofar as campus life and the university community. (though I have to be careful with that, as there are so many emotions and issues attached to these matters; that was causing a lot of pain and consternation, last Fall semester)

    I hope to have those planned blog entries (some of which are saved below, as drafts), regarding the recent political events and issues I've mentioned, published, before long.

    I really, really, hope to.

    (Maybe that's what they mean by "The Audacity of Hope" ;-)

    Sunday, September 14, 2008

    More Quick-Blogging, as I try to compose...

    Who is the REAL Barack Obama? by Steve Bierfeldt, Francisco Gonzalez, Brendan Steinhauser Who is the REAL Barack Obama?: For the rising generation; by the rising generation

    Unlike the other recent anti-Obama books, this one is written by people of our generation, and those who are from the traditionalist conservatism school (unlike most others conservatives and Republicans of this age - though that is something that we've been striving to turn around, and have had some success).

    [Facebook Group for 'Who is the Real Barack Obama?' book Facebook Group] [Book Website and Blog]

    I had wanted to help Ryan Sorba (of the Intercollegiate Studies Institute, and "The Born Gay Hoax") help distribute copies of this book, at Bloggers Row, and elsewhere at the Republican National Convention, but didn't get a chance to assist... [Nor have I even had a chance to wrote and publish my recaps, from that experience. :-( ] This anti-Obama book is clearly unique, and should go towards the top of our reading lists.

    D.C. Green

    This is certainly a very-unusual book for me to feature, at this weblog. I am going to do so anyway however, for this children's book, because the author, whose blog I had commented at almost three years ago, added me to his e-mail list. And while he sends e-mails to that very infrequently (unlike many others who have e-mail lists, which I am on... MANY, many, MANY, many lists!! ;-), I did receive one from that Australian author a few days ago, about the upcoming book launch, for his new children's book (the latest in the "Erasmus James" series). I know I must have some readers (no, not really anymore, most likely... but I might gain some, who could stumble across this site) who are from that reading level age, or some others, who wish to re-explore it. || DC Green Yarns ||

    Erasmus James, King of kid's Paradise (October 2008)

    Earlier book: Erasmus James and the Galactic Zapp Machine (2006) has now been made available as a free e-book. The link is at Mr. Green's latest blog entry. [You can also read a small excerpt from this blogger. But considering the type of book this is, the whole thing should be an easy read - except if you're trying to read the PDF on your computer screen, and still haven't been to the Wal-Mart Vision center, to pick up your new glasses! ;-) :-( ]

    Here is an excellent customer review of that book (the 2006, not the one slated for release next month). And here is a review from Down Under.

    I was wondering if I should post the info about the book launch (from D.C.'s e-mail) here, due to space issues (since this is only supposed to be a placeholder-type entry), but I don't think I need to worry about that now, as I can simply link to another blogger's post, on this very subject.

    Before becoming a children's book writer, D.C. Green worked for 20 years as a surf journalist (being from here, I hadn't heard of that term, until recently coming across his bio... but it must be different in Oceanai). Here is a bio, from his alternate blog (found via his bio). I found his EZineArticles content listing from 'trixy jotes', which I'm afraid might be a splog.

    BTW: The Erasmus James character from Australia is not related to the [recently-activated] Redskins defensive lineman football player. ;-)

    Thursday, September 11, 2008

    Wednesday, September 10, 2008

    Note (9/27/08): This entry was started (though not published) before I knew that Michael Connery from New York was a plant... He was there, under false pretenses, to spy on us.

    Also: In the process of finishing this entry, I found some follow-up pieces, written by or about these College Republican contest winners. I thought I would add those, as appendations at the end of this piece.

    The CR Crew

    There has been confusion, and some questions, regarding which, and how many, College Republicans were at the 2008 Republican National Convention last week, specifically with the CRNC's group, but also overall. (Then again, that's not all there's been confusion about, regarding CRs and the Convention... ;-)

    Out of the "Top 40" winners of the College Republican National Committee's STORM contest, quite a few decided not to attend. A few others did attend, but did not participate in the lodging or CR events. Those who were part of our group, and participated in at least some of the CR activities at the National Convention, are included below (Note: I may be leaving some off... or including someone extra):

    Sarah Perkins (Georgia) Sarah Perkins, Smith College
    Andrew Silvestri (Massachusetts) Andrew Silvestri, Harvard
    Auggie Iorio (Washington) Auggie Iorio
    Aaron LaRoche (Vermont) Aaron LaRoche
    Kelley Goetz (Washington) Kelley Goetz
    Mike Connery (New York)
    John Iorio (D.C.)
    Deane Bryson (Louisiana) Deane Bryson
    Aakash Raut (who dat? ;-)
    Robert E. Lee (new Tennessee LI CLP Field Rep.)
    Melissa Parden Lee (Tennessee) Melissa Parden Lee
    Diane Kulseth (Minnesota) Diane Kulseth
    Abigail Cable (New York) Abby Cable
    Jack Connor (Kansas) Jack Connor
    Kathryn Clark (Georgia) Kathryn Clark
    Rob Martin (new Minnesota CRNC Field Rep.)
    Robbie Champion (Tennessee) Robbie Champion Robbie Champion - Students for Fred Thompson
    Mike Conner (Kansas) Mike Conner

    I have likely left off someone(s) - and perhaps included someone(s) who may not have been there.


    Other College Republicans (especially those from Minnesota, and the rest of the Midwest Caucus) were in attendance, and many of us came together, for the Patron Tequila Express train station event (with John Paul DeJoria and Robert Davi, of the Creative Coalition).

    In addition, we interacted (somewhat) with the people from "GOP Youth Convention," who were also staying at Concordia University.

    Thanks to Andrew from Alaska (University of Alaska at Anchorage, perhaps?... He had just graduated), for sharing the cab ride, to the XCel Center for the Convention that evening, after I had missed the opportunity to carpool (or taxi-pool) with a couple of those from the CRNC "Top 40" group. He actually paid the whole cab fare, and said his Guest Pass was for the same section as mine - but I kind of went away, once we entered the XCel Center. I had a good excuse though - Governor Tim Pawlenty was there, and I had the opportunity to talk to him (something especially appropriate, since I was able to do so [long story... cc: Christina & Dan] at the Young America's Foundation Midwest Conference.

    Monday, September 08, 2008

    My 2nd Blogosphere Bleg w/ PayPal

    No one donated for the last CPAC (or for my few previous "blegs" - though that one was the first, since I got PayPal for my organization.

    At the same time [or perhaps earlier], I got PayPal for myself (something that was necessary to buy, and later sell, items on eBay).

    They wanted to send me to the Republican National Convention, but I said NO, no, no... [HatTip to Little Miss Attila & Amy Winehouse - Though this was more pertinent to CPAC this year]

    Putting costs on credit... Post-RNC Convention Expense Recovery Appeal

    I was not planning to attend the recent Republican National Convention (in Minneapolis/St. Paul, Minnesota) - some students and young Republicans in this area were wanting to attend, but we were told the cost would be about $2,000.00 per person. After winning the CRNC's STORM "Top 40" contest, which covered our lodging for the Convention, I thought I would still have to buy a Guest Package from the Illinois Republican Party (the deadline had passed though, even before the STORM contest began); this was not necessary, though.

    Since I recently re-started publishing major entries here, I was going to post something here, with a PayPal "bleg" button, asking for contributions, to help me get to the Convention. (Despite not having to pay many of the costs, I would still be responsible for travel and on-location expenses, especially considering all else I have had to spend, for prior trips.) Other bloggers did this for CPAC (which I had tried to do as well, see above), and it was being done for the Republican National Convention as well... Flopping Aces had a "RNC Trip Donation" box on their fine weblog, for Skye (who must have been added as a co-blogger, since I earlier participated at that site; she also has her own weblog (Midnight Blue), though I don't think I've been to it yet... I just found that Backyard Conservative [another person who maybe I could've gotten a ride back with - see below!], who is from my state, did a Convention-related interview with her... it's on video too!).

    I hope that Skye, and all other bloggers who wished to attend the Convention, were able to do so, and had a great experience there. As I insinuated in recent posts, our experience at the 2008 Republican National Convention was mixed (as has often been the case, with these major trip events). I drove (though my departure was a bit late - in part due to blogging!) to Glen Ellyn, from where I was fortunate to get a ride to St. Paul.

    However, I lost my ride back to Illinois, at the end of the Convention, and the alternative transportation (which would have gotten me back to Springfield, but not through where my car was in Glen Ellyn), did not work out either. I was up all Thursday night/Friday morning [others probably were as well, but under somewhat-different circumstances!], and also had gotten sick, at that point (others may have also, but under very-different circumstances ;-). In addition to the effects of all-nighters [symptoms which didn't used to be there, but getting older has caused me to not be able to do things as I used to :-( ], I had to deal with the effects of seasonal allergies [or whatever it was], not to mention exhaustion, dizziness, hypertension, eye strain [need new glasses!!], and whatever else.

    Amid this confusion, I chose to purchase (then cancel, and then re-purchase for the next night) an Amtrak ticket [Update (9/9/08): I didn't realize that Amtrak has become, of late, quite the election-related (and business-related) issue...] stay the night in a hotel [fortunately, openings were available, since the block-purchasing for the Convention had lapsed], and then, while still in a daze somewhat, lug all my things [it was more coming back, then it was going!] on the Amtrak ride from Minneapolis/St. Paul to the Chicago train station (Union Station in Downtown Chicago - nasty!!) to the Naperville depot, and then take a cab (a lot of taxi fare had to be used, as has been in the case on prior trips - especially those in the Washington, D.C. area) to the Glen Ellyn home where my car was parked [as that family was not home, for the weekend].

    I somehow managed to accomplish this, and even drive all the way back to Springfield. Thank You, God!!

    [Update (9/15/08): See this alternative account of how Midwest travel can be, if the conditions and circumstances are different!]
    [And: Even those with hiccups in their plans seem to have had it alright. Oh well...

    I don't know what my total expenses were (it's just more to the out-of-pocket total that exists, since 2004)... but if you would like to help, I now have a personal PayPal link, at which anyone can contribute.

    Please help out, if you can! I am in the middle of finding trying to find a field campaign position, for the rest of this election year (have to go right now, to make some more calls about that)... but I will try to have to Convention reviews, and then publish other planned content, before long. Thank you!!

    Update (9/11/08): [Unfortunately] Trackbacked to third world country, Right Truth, The World According to Carl, Conservative Cat, Cao's Blog.

    Update (9/12/08): Trackbacked to The World According the Carl, Cao's Blog.

    Update (9/14/08): Trackbacked to Rosemary's Thoughts, Blog @, Democrat=Socialist, RightVoices, Stageleft, Gulf Coast Hurricane Tracker, Dumb Ox Daily News, Nuke Gingrich,, Pursuing Holiness.
    Retry: Dumb Ox Daily News: Obama's Moslem Freudian Slip (update 2) | Gulf Coast Hurricane Tracker: Welcome to a new blogger

    Update (9/15/08): Trackbacked to our good friend John Donovan's entry (arrived via Twitter) at 'Castle Argghhh!'

    Saturday, September 06, 2008

    Pains, Trains, and Automobiles

    Today has been much of a blur (I came down with something, at the end of the Convention)... But somehow, I was able to arrange an Amtrak trip from St. Paul (or perhaps it was Minneapolis), Minnesota [MSP - Midway] to Chicago (ugh!!) to Naperville, Illinois [NPV], and make it to the (wealthy suburban) Village of Glen Ellyn, IL, where my car was still parked, and then drive back home to Springfield (though I'm still somewhat still in a daze).

    A heartfelt THANKS to everyone who helped out... especially to Rob Martin, the new Minnesota Field Representative of the College Republican National Committee (CRNC). [He was also not feeling too well on Friday morning - we were all exhausted and worn - but he helped me figure out a good place to stay for that night, near the Amtrak station, and drove me there.] Thanks also to County Board member Jen Dillman (Volunteers for Shimkus) and McCain Alternate Delegate Matt Mau [both affiliated with our UIS CR organization], and to Stacey Bishop (of Representative Raymond Poe's office) for also assisting, as well as to Ashley Barbera of the CRNC, who was also the one who worked hard to coordinate all of the activities, for our "Top 40" CRNC STORM contest winners group, from beginning to end... and to my roommate Robert E. Lee (now a Leadership Institute CLP Field Representative), his wife Melissa, and Sarah Perkins (of ISI & the Susan B. Anthony List) for the moral support.

    And of course, thanks to mom and dad, for your assistance and understanding - despite plans being surprisingly changed - and sorry for yelling and being mean... (I had pulled another all-nighter, and had started coughing, sneezing, wheezing, huffing, puffing, and panicking, in those early-morning hours of yesterday... Not to mention being dizzy, hungry, overheated, and under-caffeinated.)

    As I said in that e-mail I sent last night, after arriving back home: Because of how fast things were moving this week, I wasn't really able to "live-blog", from St. Paul (Also, they for some reason blocked wireless access, from the XCel Center [despite the available-networks listing indicating that free wi-fi connectivity was publicly available].)... I was apparently not the only one with this dilemma, and who will be "live"-blogging, after the fact! ;-)

    If those of you who were there want to contribute anything, we can post it at

    Some of the College Republicans at 'Civic Fest' at the Minneapolis Convention Center - - - - - More of us, at The Embassy Suites Hotel, where the Maryland delegation was assigned, where we picked up our great Guest Passes - - - - - Dillman Family: Republican National Convention

    Wednesday, September 03, 2008

    Note (1:17 AM CST): Am pasting a mostly-raw version of what I "live"-blogged. Hyperlinks, etc... will have to be inserted later. After being sent around and around in these two adjacent buildings, trying to find Bloggers Row, I found a "Row" of sorts, where internet access is available - though through Ethernet. From what one person told me, the room where the official Convention bloggers were put didn't work well, not having wireless. I'll try to stop by here tomorrow (now, today), and see if those bloggers who I've been communicating with online will be face-to-face [some I've already seen, at CPAC 2008 and at CPAC 2006]. Right now, I hope that the bus will still take me back to the hotel, from which we were bussed [after stopping by there to pick up our passes from the Maryland delegation], where I can get a cab, back to Concordia University. [Update (9/13/08): I should have mentioned that that hotel where Maryland was placed - the Embassy Suites Downtown St. Paul, MN - is also where I was told that Pat Buchanan and Diane Sawyer were staying. Unfortunately [especially re: the former], I did not have the time/opportunity to see either.]


    7:30 PM - Tuesday, September 2, 2008
    Day 2 of the Republican National Convention - St. Paul/Minneapolis, Minnesota

    It has been crazy here... (though it could be a lot worse).

    I was not able to blog yesterday, after I left home - Well, I was able to briefly, but I spent that time trackbacking "poor man" pinging instead (from my prior entries). It's been awhile since I blogged like this [at this rate], so a lot of people haven't come back to University Blog yet.

    A lot went wrong yesterday... And being in one of those situations (once again, like CPAC, the State Party Convention, etc...) where I had had to pull an all-nighter, things were additionally painful. (I used to be able to do these things easily, but it's gotten harder, as I've gotten older.)

    This morning, I was surprised that I was able to get up and be active early. Due to a certain situation, I have lost my ride back to Illinois - though that's something that will likely easily be resolved. I really want to THANK the new CR Chairman at UIUC for driving the rest of way, from Glen Ellyn to Minneapolis/St. Paul. (And speaking of that, thanks to Matt Mau for driving my car, most of the way to the Twin Cities, last time!! Matt is an elected Alternate Delegate here... So I assume he's on the floor right now.)

    Earlier today (though I just-missed the Young Republicans' "Financial Football" session with NFL star Adrian Peterson), we had some fun adventures.

    We got to see John Paul DeJoria (from Paul Mitchell), while on the railroad tracks (!), speaking from the historic Patron Tequila Express train.

    This was through the [non-partisan] Creative Coalition. Also speaking was distinguished actor Robert Davi.

    Since the convention part of this Convention has begun, I was planning on recapping that later (with photos and video - or at least audio!), while live-blogging the speeches, right now.

    Yes, we did finally get Guest Passes, to get into the XCel Center (we were going to have volunteer access, but things did not work out as planned). Thanks to the State of Maryland, for providing us with passes, for all participating members of the "Top 40"!! Thanks also to UIS CR alumna Jen Dillman of "Volunteers for Shimkus", for providing additional Guest Passes.

    The Convention

    For some reason, even though there are a number of wireless networks in range, and strong, and [supposedly] open-access, I am not able to connect to the internet with my web browsers. So, I am "blogging" using NotePad, for later copy-and-pasting. (However, my laptop now has only 43% power remaining, so I don't know how long this will last.)

    (My cell phone has already died... as likely has happened to others' as well.) BTW: I really need to get a Blackberry - lugging around this "lightweight" laptop [up, down, and all-around] is a chore.

    Fortunately, today has been nice, weather-wise. I mean, it has been drizzling, windy, and cloudy. While you might not find that "nice," you might disagree, if you were here yesterday - especially in the saunas dorms at Concordia University.

    Rachael Lampa has just started.... I was wondering what big-name artists would be performing at our Convention!! [MySpace]

    (I wonder if Kid Rock will be here - or what about "50 Cent"?)

    BTW, I loved that talk, by Ashley Gunn of "SAIF" (Students Aiding Indigent Families...). If only we could have people like that, publicly speaking for us, to combat the "Two Santa Claus" tactic, used by the statists - and Democrats!

    (She emphasized, during her speech, the value and edification of helping others, without government assistance! That's something I tried to emphasize, when I was Chairman of the UIS College Republicans. [Update (9/8/08): As well as after being Chairman...])

    I recognized Rachael Lampa's name, and thought she might be a Christian artist - someone who I've heard on WIBI. I think that was correct.

    I feel uplifted right now... (for lack of a better word). If you could know how things were yesterday... I wish I could have listened to this, while half-deadasleep, throughout last afternoon and evening.

    [Update (9/7/08): Think Virtue! ~ Rachael Lampa Performs at The Republican National Convention

    Christopher Hedges ~ Rachael Lampa sings at RNC

    Sarah Pullman, Christianity Today blog ~ Rachael Lampa sings at Republican National Convention

    Kalei DINES scope ~ Rachael Lampa]

    Arizona Superintendent of Public Instruction

    "When I decided to run, as ..." - They elect that as a statewide office in Arizona?

    They have the Hurricane Relief screen on stage right now.







    Text 2HELP

    Text keyword - "GIVE" (4483) to the address (2HELP) (24357)

    Please welcome Minneapolis Fire Department Captain - Shanna Hanson



    (People are going a bit wild!!)

    Oh wait... That's because former First Lady Barbara Bush is here.

    Ah - as is former President George Herbert Walker Bush.

    (I really wish he had been President, instead of his son. He would not have made the decision to go to war against Iraq.)

    Now, people are applauding, for the Captain - or are they?

    Anyway, the appearance of Captain Hanson goes well with the woman Republicanism theme, which tonight's Convention program began with. (I was typing the other things above, or perhaps trying to connect to the [non-existant!] Wi-Fi - So wasn't able to live-blog that part - but RNC Co-Chair JoAnn Davidson emphasized this aspect of the historic significance of the last Republican National Convention that was in Minnesota.

    Yes - The Minnesota Bridge Collapse - they have had to deal with their own nationally-watched emergency situation.

    (Fortunately, that tragedy did not happen while we were attending the last Midwest Conference of Young America's Foundation.)

    I'm deliberately not saying anything, about the Lincoln thing they're doing right now. (I was tempted to, as they invoked him, towards the start of the program.) But I want to say thank you to UIS Professor Robert MacGregor to completing the opening of my eyes, to Abe Lincoln (a process that was begun by the folks at

    [By the way, my roommate here, for the Convention - happens to be Robert E. Lee - Will tell you more about that later. :-) ]

    La Raza?? Did she say LA RAZA??!!

    (Note: I expressed this sentiment out loud - the elderly gentleman next to me, I think does not know what that is.

    At one event I went to, I was told that one key GOP-primary candidate in our area [no names] did not know what La Raza was.)

    "I am a... And Democrat"... I was surprised - I thought he would say I am "Republican."

    Ah... There it is. The moment he started citing a Bible verse, I was afraid he was going to try to [mis]use it, to justify wrongful immigration policies.

    But I'm glad that he quickly changed focus, to upholding the Right to Life, and traditional values.

    [By the way, if you want an alternative viewpoint, with respect to the Biblical view on open-borders, check here and here and here.]

    Despite his faults, George Herbert Walker Bush is a GREAT AMERICAN, and was even a decent President. (I know many other conservatives disagree.)

    I yearn for a return to "agressive multilaterism" and "foreign policy realism" - While those foreign policy visions are far from ideal, they would have prevented many of the problems our country (not mention our party) are having right now.

    The foreign policy that the Bush 43 administration has decided to embark upon, with respect to Iraq and elsewhere, is about 180 degrees from that of the Bush 41 administration. (It is very different from the philosophy of President Ronald Wilson Reagan as well... It is more in line with the "Clinton doctrine" - and Democrat internationalist visions.)

    Unlike many other conservatives, I firmly support the Americans with Disabilities Act - though it likely could use some refining.

    I don't know how to feel about the Clean Air Act, that he also signed... I would need to learn more.

    With regard to Gulf War One - Congress should have declared war, if they wanted to go to war against Iraq. That almost-unprecedented United Nations mandate, that oversaw the war, was wrong. The U.N. has mishandled the Iraq situation, from the start.

    But that's what they do.

    Captain Leslie Smith

    Bosnia - That was a quagmire. Don't let the Democrats claim to be anti-war.

    "Death watch" - Wow.

    She said she used to be a cheerleader. Did you know that that's true for three of the six last Republican presidents (including the current one)? [I mentioned this the last time I chaired an Executive Board meeting of our College Republicans organization - our 2nd Vice-Chairwoman was Kate Johnson.]

    Petty Officer Michael A. Monsoor, U.S. Navy Seal

    It is amazing, what our brave and heroic servicemen do, while in such dangerous and threatening situations. They truly deserve our uttermost gratitude, for their service.

    The Hon. Orson Swindle

    Thank God for these fine men and women, who have served our nation.

    Sorry for the gap... What happened is that a lady offered those of us with Guest passes who are at the 200-level an opportunity to "go down" - the 100 level!

    Things seem a lot freer here... Though that could be because the program is already underway, and they aren't being as picky, about who they let where.

    I ran into PajamasTV (which I didn't know existed), and was a bit confused, because I thought that that location might be Bloggers Row (like at CPAC) - where the credentialed bloggers were. There were only a small number of people there though - but they were very kind, even though I just randomly spoke to them.

    It is kind of weird... I am now able to get right down, into where the media personnel are (right behind, and to the left of, the stage area). I just looked over, and saw that the Illinois delegation happens to be rather close (relatively-speaking, to where I'm seated).

    President Bush is addressing us right now. Sorry I was not able to live-blog during the First Lady's speech (we had the opportunity to see her, along with quite a few others, during the last Fall semester of an even-numbered year!).

    I tried waiving to Jen Dillman (I think that's hear, in the purple, but maybe not). I was wanting to add her, to the Blogger permission, for our UIS College Republicans weblog. Check out the Dillman family blog as well.

    The lights are back on. That wasn't even her - nor do I recognize any of the people around the Illinois sign. Then again, D.C. and California are between them and myself. (I have ordered new glasses, but by the time I get them, I may need a new prescription again... with all this computer usage and eye strain!)

    I am glad that even though the President was not able to come speak, the First Lady was able to attend.

    Finally - A tribue to the greatest President of our time (I knew, when they mentioned "Dutch", that that was him - I did my 6th grade Illinois History Fair presentation on the Gipper).
    [link to Watchblog]

    At the 2004 National Conservative Student Conference (Young America's Foundation), people expressed frustration about the convention slate [HUMAN Events link] for the upcoming Republican National Convention in New York City.

    One thing that was also mentioned is that they would be doing a tribute to Nelson Rockefeller - not Ronald Reagan.

    I hope they had a better tribute to Ronnie though, at that Convention, than to Rockefeller.

    "Maverick" - Are they about to compare Ronald Reagan to John McCain?

    Ronald Reagan renewed our nation. It was "morning in America" again.

    See our statement, on his passing:

    Fred Thompson! I am glad we get a chance to see him speak. We saw him, in a much closer and personal setting though, at last year's College Republican National Convention (it was an unscheduled, surprise appearance).

    Photo of us with Fred Thompson. Video of his speech.

    His voice seems hoarse.

    [Include something on him on McCain]

    "What a breath of fresh air Governor Sarah Palin is!"

    Yes - You can say that again, Fred!! (I had to move my hands from the keyboard, to applaud. Senator McCain certainly hit a home run - if not a grand slam - with that pick.)

    (When a former UIS CR officer called yesterday, in a hiatus of our disjointed briefing by "Young Guns," I was impressed by the fact that he said he would now be voting for John McCain for President... [as oppose to Barr or Baldwin]. I mentioned to the UIUC CR Chairman that it seems that McCain may just now have won the election.)

    (It seems that the base may rally behind McCain now. I think that I saw, on my Facebook front-page feed, CR superstar Ruth Malhotra - who we brought up earlier today, in a very-helpful discussion with another "Top 40" CR contest winner, who is from Savannah, Georgia - mentioning [in the "Status" update], that she was now going to back McCain... So many of my Facebook 'Friends' seemed to be rejoicing, over that Palin pick, that day. I am really glad that Senator McCain chose Governor Palin.)

    [Update (9/8/08): When looking, on the final night of the Convention, at the card she had handed me after that discussion, I saw that she has her own website... From going over there, I am very impressed!]
    Kathryn Clark Design

    John, in the Naval Academy, troublemaker. "Although, loaded with demerits..." At the great event we had for former UIS CR Treasurer Josh Pomeroy this summer (a U.S. Special Forces homecoming and West Point military send-off luncheon), we were very-fortunate to have, in attendance, Vice Admiral N. Ronald Thunman (Ret.), one of our country's most distinguished living U.S. Navy veterans... It's incredible that he lives right here in Springfield, and was actually a graduate of my high school (in the SHS class 50 years before mine.)

    Springfield High School (SHS) - Springfield, Illinois - Hall of Fame Alumni

    Rear Admiral Nils Ronald Thunman (Ret.) was also the commander of the first-year ("plebe") class of 17-year-old John Sidney McCain. He told some interesting stories...

    [I unfortunately still have not published the entry, at the UIS College Republicans blog, on this event for Josh - it is one of the drafts still incomplete.]

    It is incredible what [put title] John McCain had to endure, for five and half long years.

    It is troubling, how many people are cheering so hard, at Fred Thompson's glowing mention of the troop surge, and how "now we are winning" in Iraq.

    Wow - I didn't know that Senator McCain opposed sending troops to Beirut.

    I am glad that Mr. Thompson mentioned an anti-war [anti-interventionist] stance of Senator McCain's, after emphasizing his hawkishness.

    (If only Senator McCain could have expressed the same foresight that he showed with Lebanon in 1983 to Kosovo in 1999.)

    He's never sought an earmark? Wow...

    He's the most liberal, most inexperienced nominee to ever run for President. The inexperienced assertion is likely true... by Senator Obama's own [semi-]admission. It is troubling that a major party has given their nomination to someone this fresh and untested. In 1999-2000, Governor George W. Bush was also criticized for being too inexperienced, by his primary opponents, and in the general election as well. One of the other nominees that year would most likely have been better. But President Bush had more experience, and a stronger leadership background, than Senator Obama does.

    The "most liberal" charge may also be true. He was rated as the most liberal member of the U.S. Senate, in a recent ranking.

    Protectionism? He should not have included that, along with bigger bureaucracy and higher taxes. Had our party taken a different stand on trade, we might not have lost in 1992 and 1996. See this excellent recent OP-ED, by the person who was - remarkably - the Treasurer of Bob Dole's presidential campaign. I guess Pat Buchanan - and the majority of Republicans - were right after all.

    It is SO REFRESHING how many people are standing and cheering, when Mr. Thompson made his remark, rebuking Senator Obama's support of abortion. That is perhaps the biggest issue-based reaction, to any policy matter, in a speech tonight.

    This shows that our party's base [and much of the non-base as well! Much of the ovation came from the Convention floor!!!] is still overwhelmingly PRO-LIFE. I hope that certain people are listening.

    Joe Lieberman... Oh dear.

    Please see my prior postings on Senator Lieberman. He has one of the most liberal voting records in the U.S. Senate... Like the other New England Democrats.

    On foreign policy, he is a liberal internationalist. He is hardly alone, in the Democrat Party - as I've said before, a lot of their "anti-war" positioning is reactionary in nature, and also based on political pragmatism - GOP leaders have said the same. And more-recently, the McCain campaign (was it them who released it), said the same, about Barack Obama. Despite this, much of the Democrat Party leadership isn't anti-war... Their balking on Iraq is one reason for their low approval rating, which Fred Thompson just mentioned; they were elected, partly as a result of the displeasure over the Iraq war (despite what I heard [ ] say on the radio, when guest-hosting for Rush - we saw him speak the last time we attended an event in the Twin Cities), and then they make no progress, in ending the war.

    It is scary that Senator Lieberman was on the short-list of Vice-Presidential nominees, for our party. (And Senator McCain may have been the shortlist of running mates, for the Democrats' last presidential nominee - something that was advocated by their current Vice-Presidential nominee!!!) It's crazy how there is so much crossover, among the top Democrat and Republican leaders. [Then again, many people are used to that type of thing.]

    He is talking about changing the culture of Washington, and making reformist themes. But while McCain is truly a non-partisan "maverick," Lieberman has not been, especially compared to his primary opponent, Ned Lamont. [link to Bob Novak's column]

    Why are people applauding, when Senator Lieberman talks about "breaking the partisan paralysis" over the issue of federal judges?

    Now, he praises Senator McCain's action on "fixing our broken immigration system" and solving the "global warming" crisis. It is troubling to see that there was solid applause [though I'm glad it wasn't as huge as it could have been], from the Convention floor, for this line.

    Now, he praises Bill Clinton.

    Why are they applauding Bill Clinton's "accomplishments"? (Then again, he did mention about about Clinton's working with Republicans.)

    Keep in mind that liberals spoke at the last Republican National Convention as well - on behalf of the liberal internationalist philosophy.

    As I said here, the liberal internationalists are even more dangerous than the other liberals, because they have succeeding in deceiving so many of my fellow Republicans and conservatives.

    Most Republicans "voted to cut off funding to our troops in the battlefield" during the Clinton administration. And they were right to attempt to end misbegotten adventures in Wilsonian imperialism.

    Proverbs 29:18 - "Where there is no vision, the people perish."

    The Convention was moved for adjournment by Bobby [ ], the Speaker of the South Carolina House of Representatives.

    I need to go, see if I can talk to the Illinois people. (When I looked a little farther back, from this seat, I was able to recognize Illinois Senate Minority Leader Frank Watson - our first UIS CR Gold Club member!! - as well as someone else, whose face now slips my mind.)

    Someone just came here, and said that they aren't letting "us" on the floor yet. But maybe by "us," she means press. People are coming up, from the floor, into this section... I'm going to try to got down; hopefully, some of the Illinois delegation will still be there. (I wonder who else I'll run across, while on the Floor this evening... and elsewhere, here in the XCel Energy Center. I did run into certain individuals when I was here, before I came in to the arena area... Will blog about that, as well.)

    Update (9/10/08): From an Illinois media source, the Chicago Sun Times, which now has blogs on their site:
    Mark Bieganski apparently had enough energy that night to put together, and post, a slideshow of this day of the Convention.

    Monday, September 01, 2008

    Off to Minnesota..

    It's 3:00 AM (well, a little past that, as I'm running late!).

    I am about to depart, first to stop by the house of the Chairman of the College Republicans at our sister campus (UIUC), and then we are going to St. Paul (and Minneapolis), for the 2008 Republican National Convention. [latest news]

    I really hope I get to live-blog from there (not as a "credentialed" blogger most likely, but as an independent one... There's a chance I might get "credentialed" of sorts by UIS, though since I'm not a student this semester, it might be difficult.)

    Please pray that this trip goes well, for all of those who are attending.

    But more significantly, please pray for the people down south, as they cope with the pending Hurricane Gustav.