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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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    Friday, July 29, 2005

    Happy Birthday

    Today at work, we had two birthday cakes... For the employees with April/May & June/July birthdays. (My name wasn't on there - but that's okay; it's just good being able to work there this summer.)

    But now, I want to wish a very Happy Birthday to John Donovan, our friend from across the moat.
    [Hat tip to Cowboy Blob... whose site I went to via my hit counter's referral listing]

    How old young is Sir John of Castle Arrgghhh!!! ?

    Maybe she would know.

    By the way, I also want to wish a Happy Birthday to racecar driver Fernando Alonso, who joins me in being 24, and liberal Peter Jennings, who is now 67... and also to Benito Mussolini, who is 122.

    Who else's birthday was it today? I think I'll post an entry after this one, regarding this. The CAFTA post (see below) can wait; it will take a little longer to compose... And that issue still had me fuming today at work (again!), despite the fact that "Professor Williams" was hosting today. I wish that he could fill in for Rush more often... (like perhaps on a permanent basis ;-)

    Thursday, July 28, 2005

    CAFTA Craziness

    It was maddening to be listening today at work, and to find that it had already happened. They said that the President had to "stay up past his bedtime" for that to occur.

    I had really wanted to post something on this topic before the vote. I had wanted to post something encouraging conservatives, libertarians, constitutionalists, and Republicans to provide the pivotal influence that would kill CAFTA. A constitutionalist congressional organization, The Liberty Committee, was lobbying for our sovereignty, with respect to this bill. We came so close, but it sneaked through.

    This is so d*mn infuriating. And it is especially infuriating to see 'conservatives' and Republicans supporting this unconstitutional atrocity. But tonight is one of the worst nights for commenting about this... Among other things, I need to respond to an inquiry from another one of the 'GOP Bloggers,' regarding background info he's trying to gather about a certain web advertising program, which I've been wanting to discuss anyway. Words cannot really express how frustrated I am, at the aforementioned and other issues, but watch this space for more soon.

    Tuesday, July 26, 2005

    Very Inspirational

    After work today, I rushed to the Hoogland Center for the Arts... I was invited to see a young man, who I had had heard was a great piano player, perform here in Springfield.

    What I witnessed was remarkable.

    Go to to see why...

    Sujeet, who I see has [well-deserved] national - and even international - recognition, is the same age as I. Despite having Down Syndrome, he has become an accomplished player of not only the piano, but the clarinet and violin as well. This evening's performance was incredible, and Sujeet's work is very inspirational - to all of us.

    And the thing is, he just arrived here, with his parents.

    I didn't even know this before today, but apparently, his father was close friends with my father, not too long after they came to America. After the concert (sponsored by major disability organizations), Sujeet and his parents have come to our house, to visit, and we will likely all be going out to dinner. (Due to the weather situations, their flight, which was supposed to arrive in Illinois yesterday evening, was delayed until this morning.) They have to leave for home soon.

    At, you can find out more about this amazing young man, and about his work. I think that a short documentary about him is also available for viewing there... and you can find out about purchasing his CD as well.

    I was going to post more about the Judge Roberts situation next, but I thought that I should share this evening's experience right now. More current-events commentary will be up here before too long, but for now, it's time for dinner.

    Wednesday, July 20, 2005

    Update (7/25/05): I regretfully note that at this time, I cannot support the nomination of Judge John Roberts to the U.S. Supreme Court. I was already having doubts, but my last [indented] update, at the bottom of this entry, gives a brief overview of why I arrived at this conclusion, on Friday. If the known information about Judge Roberts changes, however, then things might be different, regarding this... As of now, I feel that him serving for a lifetime on our nation's highest court is too great of a risk. Please check out the updates to this entry (below); I will have more up on this soon.

    Not so fast, boys...

    One of the main realizations surrounding last night's surprising pick for the U.S. Supreme Court that many people are having is the fact that an unusually-limited amount of background information is known, regarding his personal viewpoints on the major hot-button issues facing our nation today. Many conservatives - as well as some liberals - were holding off on staking a pro/con position on his nomination, due to this fact. But after seeing how two excellent leading group weblog sites took a stance in favor of John Roberts' confirmation - the same night it was announced! - ['Confirm Them' and 'Save the GOP'], I posted the following comment:

    Whoa there - Let's slow down, guys...

    The thing is, I don't recall having heard of Judge Roberts before tonight. And I know I'm not the only one... Many of his positions are unknown, especially since he doesn't have very many of his views on the official record. He did inveigh against Roe, but only as a representative of his then-client, the Bush 41 administration. Same goes for his filing in favor of the Playboy Channel's First Amendment "rights." I just saw the interim president of Planned Parenthood on Scarborough Country, who said: "This may surprise you, but we're [not taking a position on Roberts]"... They just don't know enough about him. Neither do we.

    I think that conservatives need to be very careful before getting excited about this nominee... And we have to be wary of basing our reactions to his nomination upon the fact that liberals will be opposing him.

    We can't afford to "get burned" [Sean Hannity's term from this afternoon's radio show - which I listened to today for perhaps the second time ever] again, as we did last time.

    This afternoon, I was forced to turn off Hannity [on only my 3rd day of listening!], because he - along with his guest John ["sexy boobs"] McCain - were so incredibly irritating. I've written about both of these annoying neocon windbags before... and will probably have to comment about their [il]logic and senselessness again soon.


    Update (7/21/05): I turned off Hannity again this afternoon [ it had popped on, mid-show, after the Cardinals lost :-( ] - as if the "Sith Lord" wasn't RINOstic enough, he this time had the RINO Rudy on his show. They both expressed their love [I think that was actually the word Sean used] for 'Tony the Tyrant' of England, and compared him to Churchill... something that may not be that far off, actually. The fact that the former mayor [a supporter of partial-birth abortion] expressed support for Judge Roberts, and that he emphasized that the judge's brief filed against Roe v. Wade was specifically not his own opinion (but that of his administration) does not reflect well upon our new nominee. I will be posting more about this issue soon... I also want to comment on today's horrible bombing in London.

    Update (7/22/05): Some weird electrical problems struck us late this afternoon in the office, and we had to turn off all electronic equipment - and go home. And this had to happen after 4 PM, on a Friday, the same day on which I had taken the morning off, and would have actually been wanting to work late! [If only this had happened on a Tuesday or Wednesday...]

    Also, this is the day when I would have liked to have kept Sean Hannity's radio show on. Fortunately, these problems began after he had finished his interview with David Boies. Yes, that David Boies. At least this afternoon, his liberal guest has enough honesty to wear a "D" (not an "R") next to his name... unlike some people.

    As indicated above, I have already been expressing doubts [as have a number of other conservative bloggers] about whether SCOTUS nominee John Roberts can be relied upon to be a constitutionalist justice, if allowed to serve a lifetime on the highest Court in the land. I mentioned above that the fact that the infanticide-supporting former mayor and the RINO-supreme senator from AZ [is it Vader or the Sith?] were enthustically backing him does not reflect too well on him... But in reality, that doesn't necessarily reflect too poorly on Judge Roberts, either.

    But when today's guest, an individual of remarkable talents and strong convictions [but possibly-questionable ethics] who served as Al Gore's lead attorney in Bush v. Gore (had he won, Bush would never have become President in 2000), expressed lavish praise for Judge Roberts, my eyebrows raised higher than they've been this entire week, as did my blood pressure. At 3:43 PM CST, Sean told David Boies, "It's kind of scary how much you and I are agreeing on some of these issues..."

    You aren't the only one who finds this type of thing scary, Sean.

    Note (7/21/05): That's what I had thought in my mind to write, in the update to this blog entry... Unfortunately, I couldn't post this at the time, being at work. I wanted to pause here, in this entry update, to delay my sharing of what transpired next in that interview. I will post the details about that later tonight; I think what was said on the show is quite significant - and perhaps somewhat scary, considering the stakes involved.
    Update (7/21/05): I had already been having doubts about the Roberts nomination, but here is what clinched it for me, during that David Boies interview with Sean Hannity.

    The neoconservative radio and television host had been emphasizing, during much of that day's show, that the Democrats were wrong to be using the fact that Judge Roberts' wife is a pro-life activist; Hannity said that it is wrong to assume that a husband would automatically go along with the views of his wife. But at 3:52 PM CST, Hannity had asked David Boies to analyze the nominee's position on Roe v. Wade. Boies commented on Judge Roberts past statements and actions (along with the other information that he knows about him), and remarked: "That indicates to me that he is unlikely to go back and overturn Roe v. Wade..." He stated that Judge Roberts may effect a more conservative interpretation on that decision, but would not be likely to support its reversal.


    Towards the end of the interview, Hannity praised David Boies for his support of Judge Roberts, and stated that he must be facing problems from his fellow Democrats for this. Boies responded by saying that if more of his Democratic colleagues would learn more about Judge Roberts, they might appreciate him more.

    Since then, I saw our friend Ben Shapiro's latest column [a superb piece found via Rev. Chuck Baldwin's 'must-reads' list] , which notes that neoconservative commentator Fred Barnes also states that Supreme Court Justice John Roberts would likely "not join an anti-Roe bloc on the Court."

    Update (7/25/05): I just saw that Krauthammer also predicts that Roberts "will uphold Roe, purely for reasons of precedent"... Though he will do so "very quietly"... (how gracious of him!)

    The thing is, Mr. Roberts might turn out to be a great U.S. Supreme Court justice, like Scalia and Thomas. Or he could turn out to be a Rehnquist, which isn't that bad either.

    But might, in this case, isn't good enough. Not by a mile.

    On that same show Friday, Sean Hannity emphasized, while talking with his next guest, Second Lady Lynne Cheney, how extremely important it is who gets on the Supreme Court. This person could be there "for 35 years," he said.

    On that point, Hannity is correct. I have bitterly opined in the past how, over the years, the federal courts have been able to [unconstitutionally] usurp so much power from the other branches of government - especially from the legislature. The "living document" view of the U.S. Constitution has drastically offset the delicate system of checks and balances that our Founders left us with... If they had known that this would happen, would they have allowed for federal justices to serve for life? Judicial activism has allowed for our federal judges to become virtual dictators, in many cases. And Roe v. Wade is currently the most egregious example of this. I have written before how even many supporters of abortion "rights" have acknowledged that the Roe ruling was legally flawed.

    No person who is unable (or unwilling) to realize this is fit to serve on the U.S. Supreme Court... or any court, for that matter.

    I am afraid that I cannot support any justice for the U.S. Supreme Court who won't might not vote to overturn Roe v. Wade - an atrocity that even many pro-choicers and liberals have stated was wrongly decided. [The same is not necessarily true for federal inferior court judges, since I realize that trade-offs sometimes need to be made, due to the unfortunate reality of the contemporary paradigm.]

    Roe v. Wade was almost overturned in 1992... It survived by a 5 to 4 decision. Three of the justices who voted in the majority plurality [to retain Roe] were appointed by Republican presidents, and were widely believed to be in favor of its reversal (O'Connor, Kennedy, and Souter). Instead of appointing David H. Souter, if President George H. W. Bush had appointed either a justice who respected the Right to Life, or a justice who at least respected the U.S. Constitution, there would have been enough votes to have overturned Roe v. Wade. [Incidentally, only one of the nine justices on the Court at that time was appointed by a Democrat president - and he was among the dissenters!]

    John Roberts is "young" [for someone in this position] - he could be on the Court for decades. We can't afford to get burned again, as we have before. This could be a critical turning point in our modern national polity. For a long-lasting, and virtually irreversible, position of immense power - one of the most powerful positions in the nation - we can't afford to have more than a scintilla of doubt, about a potential U.S. Supreme Court justice. The voters who sent our President back to the White House deserve no less... The same is true for our country at large - including those who are too young to vote - or too young for their lives to be protected by the current 'law'.

    The information that we have about Judge Roberts is still unusally-low... For Ruth Bader-Ginsburg's nomination, the paper trail was sizable. It makes me mad that partisan supporters of President Bush [and others] are stating that Roberts should be shielded from revealing his positions on ultra-crucial issues such as Roe v. Wade. Those of us who are principled conservatives and constitutionalists should want for as much information as reasonably possible to be shared about this nominee - especially since so little data is available on his positions and background.

    I am afraid that until more information is made available that deals with these serious concerns, I cannot support the nomination of John G. Roberts to the U.S. Supreme Court.

    Tuesday, July 19, 2005

    Who will it be?

    John Roberts [?]

    John G. Roberts, Jr. I just went over to Patterico's weblog, but I wasn't expecting that the answer would already be there. I had seen, about an hour ago, that Drudge said that the name would be revealed "in minutes." I guess I didn't expect that that was for real.

    Alex Brunk just told me that he had it up before Drudge did, but our friend Erick Erickson apparently had it first, posted at Confirm Them, a weblog which I recently found.

    The speech will begin in a few, but the cat seems to already be out of the bag.


    Update: How'd Wikipedia get their encyclopedia article on him updated so fast?

    More Thoughts on the Court

    This is another comment that I posted at the prosecutor Patterico's weblog, which I regret not having shared before... but which I will quickly link to now, due to the big announcment scheduled for about 20 minutes from now.

    From July 8th - Remarks on Specter, and my suggestions for Supreme Court justices!! :-)

    Should have shared this here earlier...

    From July 3rd - My remarks on the U.S. Supreme Court vacancy...

    Wednesday, July 13, 2005

    Daniel Pipes: Terror Allowed to Flourish under Blair's watch
    (while - guess where? - it doesn't)

    I am glad that Tucker Carlson ("the kid" from Crossfire - why'd they cancel it!?!) is still on television - and now on a different channel, it seems. When MSNBC was on at home on Saturday evening, it seemed to me that he now may have his own show... Or at least, was hosting one that day. The announcement-preview, before the commercial, came on:

    [Paraphrased] (due to Saturday's Situation transcript not being available)
    Britain is our staunch ally in the war against terrorism. Or is it? Our next guest says that the British have a weak policy on domestic terrorists - even weaker than the French! Come back after the break, and...

    I was kind of surprised to see who that guest was. Daniel Pipes is no anti-war commentator, anything but! He has been widely recognized as "an internationally known neoconservative journalist, author, activist, and expert on Islamism and terrorism." He is the founder of the Middle East Forum, which started our friendly neighborhood 'Campus Watch' website, to monitor bias against Israel in our nation's academic institutions.

    Here is a transcript of the show segment from Saturday:

    The Situation, MSNBC
    Saturday, July 9, 2005

    TUCKER CARLSON, HOST: Most Americans think of Great Britain as America‘s stalwart ally in the war on terror. And they are, but how tough are they on terrorists living in their own country? That is a subject open to question. I‘m going to be discussing that tonight with Daniel Pipes, he is the director of the Middle East Forum. He joins us live tonight from Philadelphia.

    Doctor Pipes, thanks a lot for joining us. You made the point recently that Great Britain is less vigorous about rooting out terrorists in its own country than France is.

    DANIEL PIPES, DIRECTOR, MIDDLE EAST FORUM: I will go even further than that and say that in the Western world Britain is the least capable, competent, vigorous about rooting out terrorism and France is the most, more than the United States, more than any other country.

    CARLSON: How does that work? You listen to Tony Blair talk and he sounds like death on terrorists. I mean, he sounds very, very tough. In what ways is Great Britain not tough enough?

    PIPES: Well, everybody talks a good game but it is what the law enforcement are doing, what the prosecutors are doing, what immigration authorities are doing is what counts. What we find in Britain is for about 15 years now an infrastructure of radical Islamic groups, some of them overtly supporting terrorism, have developed. And the British authorities have done virtually nothing about it, even post-9/11.

    Whereas in France, to the contrary, they are tough. There was a case, for example, about a year ago when an imam near Lyon gave an interview to a magazine in which he supported a man‘s right to beat his wife. And within days he was expelled from the country and that isn‘t even terrorism, that is just sort of, you know, anti-French customs. The French are very tough about this. And the British are extraordinarily lax.

    CARLSON: I know the French have laws against inciting religious hatred and, of course, the British don‘t. Tell me other reasons you think the British are not as tough as the French.

    PIPES: It is not so much the laws. For example, the British have a law in the works now that would prohibit any criticism of religion, which is basically an attempt to shield Islam, or Muslims, from any criticism, which is an amazing law that has not yet passed, it looks likely to. The government is supporting it.

    It is less a matter of laws than perhaps a sense of what it means to be French or what it means to British or what it means to be American, Australian, whatever. And the British seem to take very little pride in what it means to be British, and the French do take pride, the Spanish take pride.

    I‘m not really able to explain it, but I can certainly point out to you the manifestations. Let me give you another example. In France there's a law against girls wearing the hijab, the head scarf to public schools and universities. In Britain, everything goes, including in one case, in one school, what is called a jilbab, which is an outfit that covers the woman from head to toe with the exception of hands and face. And what is even more striking is that the lead lawyer, at the appellate level for the girl who brought this case against her school, was none other than the wife of Tony Blair, arguing that a Muslim girl can wear virtually totally encompassing clothing to school. This with be absolutely prohibited in almost every Western country except Britain.

    CARLSON: Now, you have written recently that up until this past Thursday some analysts considered Britain safe from terrorist attacks simply because the country has been so liberal in dealing with Islamist elements within it. Do you think that is fair?

    PIPES: Well, it is actually not analysts. It is that some of the leaders of radical Islam, in Britain, have explicitly said they have what they call the covenant of security with Britain. In other words, so long as they are allowed to act freely and do planning against other countries they will leave Britain alone. Then in about January of 2005, a couple of leaders of radical Islam in Britain said the covenant is over, that due to British actions, laws, foreign policy, they considered the covenant over. And Britain is now fair game. So it was just a matter of time until Britain would actually be hit. And what is so striking here—

    CARLSON: Tell me—

    PIPES: It appears that the people who carried out the operations a couple of days ago, are domestic, are from within Britain itself. And what is even perhaps most striking—yes, go ahead.

    CARLSON: I‘m sorry. I just would like it know what you think of Tony Blair‘s recommendations today that the war on terror be fought against the root causes of terror, which he described as poverty, lack of democracy in the Muslim world and the Palestinian conflict. Do you think a Palestinian state would reduce the incentive for young men to become, say suicide bombers?

    PIPES: Well, they might have a—no—if a Palestinian state replaced Israel, if Israel were destroyed I think the war would be over there. But simply creating a Palestinian state would not in any way reduce the violence against Israel. Far less would it have an effect against buses and underground trains in Britain. That is not about a Palestinian state or about Israel. That is about a grievance against the existence of a non-Islamic law state in the United Kingdom.

    They want to bring Islamic law to the United Kingdom. So no, it has nothing to do with poverty. Has nothing to do with a lack of democracy because Britain is a democracy after all and these are British subjects who are engaged, presumably in these activities. No it has to do with a sense of being a Muslim and being upset that the world today is not finding Muslims in very good state, and wanting to change that in a radical, total way by bringing Islamic law everywhere.

    CARLSON: All right. Daniel Pipes, director of the Middle East Forum, joining us from Philadelphia. Thank you very much.

    PIPES: Thank you.

    Note: This transcript is unedited, except for the embedded hyperlinks, and the text color (which was added for emphasis).

    British Islamists Threaten Violence, Daniel Pipes, July 8

    Via World Net Daily:
    Weak Brits, Tough French
    France allows terrorist suspects fewer rights than other nations
    Commentary: In war on terror, France outfights UK, Daniel Pipes, July 12
    [ French version of this article (from yesterday). Also available in German from Dr. Pipes' home page. ]

    Updates (7/14/05):
    From yesterday, at the interesting 'Prevent Tooth Decay' site:
    Prime Minister Tony Blair has expressed his shock that the four men believed to have carried out last week's deadly terrorist attacks on London's tra...

    Another weblog that I just found, 'Pytheas Online,' has a series of pertinent entries on its front page. (In fact, almost every post currently on his/her front page is relevant to this, so I suggest you check it out right now.

    I've previously expressed some cyberspace excitement at finding other traditionalist or pro-liberty conservative sites in the Blogosphere. I wonder if 'Pytheas Online' is one of them.

    Sunday, July 10, 2005

    Their Lives - Watch C-SPAN 2 Today

    This afternoon (or tomorrow afternoon, for those of you in Colorado, California, Hawai'i, or Alaska) - Sunday, July 10th, the author of the [previously-discussed] new book, Their Lives, will be on BookTV on C-SPAN 2, at 3:30 PM, eastern time (2:30 PM central). A "libertarian feminist," author Candice Jackson seems to have written a thought-provoking and uniquely-informative polemic which, in addition to helping share the much-under-covered accounts of the Clinton machine's brutality towards Slick Willie's female victims, could be relevant to the next presidential election.

    It can be watched online at:

    If you haven't already purchased it, you can buy Candice Jackson's excellent new book at a discounted price, on
    If you use that link, I will receive a percentage of the purchase cost (and it won't affect the price).

    Don't want to buy this book? Perhaps you want to buy another one... If so, please do it through the link provided here.

    Don't want to buy any book? Well, like Baskin Robbins, actually has 31 different categories of items that you can purchased online. Take a look...

    And don't forget to watch (or set your VCR for) Candice Jackson's appearance on C-SPAN 2 at 3:30 PM eastern, today (Sunday, July 10th).

    I found out about this from's 'Events Calendar' for this month.

    Thursday, July 07, 2005

    Terror in Albion

    I just got home from work a little bit ago... but I saw the news [full coverage] right after getting up.

    This is horrific.

    Update: And 'barbaric'...

    Update (7/8/05): Hyscience posted some informational updates last night. 'Backcountry Conservative' Jeff Quinton has been very prolific in blogging about this - both yesterday and today. And speaking of today, his post from this morning has a comprehensive compilation of news & opinion & bloggage from this very day. The bottom of Jack Lewis' entry contains links to some Blogosphere reactions. Same with California Conservative and Double Toothpicks and our friend John Donovan, while Arguing with Signposts complies reactions from bloggers Left and Right... Also take a look at this article in the Wall Street Journal. Wizbang! has some pertinent material, as do La Shawn Barber and Gateway Pundit, while J. A. Greer contributes some 'random thoughts' regarding this tragedy. And check out the analysis and commentary at The Counterterrorism Blog.

    I had just been thinking about our old friend 'Tacitus' (whose blog I wish was still running). His real name is Josh Trevino, and he was in Scotland [I think for the G8 summit], but is headed to London now. Here is his post from yesterday. [via InstaPundit's round-up via Slublog's]

    I was glad to see that Dr. Adrian Warnock is okay.

    More to come...

    Addendum to Entry (7/10/05)
    I wrote the following supplement to this post on Thursday evening, but because of the factors I discuss in it, I did not post it at that time. I amended it on Friday.

    Note: I have been to London twice, and I have family in England... They live in other cities though, and are alright. One of my fellow CSFers and bloggers was studying abroad in England this past academic year... She's been back home; I will be contacting her ASAP regarding this.

    Today is a day to show our solidarity with the British people. Like with 9/11, now is not the time to be making assertions about the factors that motivated these brutal acts of terrorism - even if those claims have merit.

    To express one's opinion about the motives for an atrocious act is not the same as "justifying" - or "making excuses" for - that atrocity. (If so, every single prosecutor in America would be guilty of this... I pointed this out around the time of the Newsweek/"Koran-flushing" controversy.) And calling for the withdrawal of military forces from foreign operations is not "hateful" or "unpatriotic"... (If so, Gov. George W. Bush waged a rather hateful campaign against Al Gore in 2000, and the majority of Americans [including two of the most conservative Congressmen from Jesse Helms' fine state - and half the Republicans on the House International Relations Committee] must (currently) "hate" our great nation.) Asserting that state-sponsored interventions result in more harm than good, and can contribute to tragic situations, is not a "liberal" or "hateful" viewpoint; in fact, the belief that government expansion into people's affairs can cause more negative than positive consequences is a key conservative concept. And especially since a socialist is the head of the British government, I suspect that many Tories and conservatives - in the U.K. and elsewhere - are thinking along these same lines (not just "the left").

    But now is not the time for this type of discussion or debate. This type of dialogue, in light of the unspeakable horrors and atrocies that were committed today, is very wrong, and will be hurtful to the victims of these terrorist attacks - and to those Britons who are still searching for their loved ones, amidst the chaos of this morning. George Galloway and others who have used this tragic occasion to criticize their government's policies are acting irresponsibly and disrespectfully.

    Both sides of this contenscious debate need to cease their firing (at each other)... Now is the time to show unity with the British - and with our fellow citizens as well... Regardless of our personal viewpoints or geopolitical perspectives. I agree with Patterico the prosecutor (and with Kevin Drum) - I wish more people [Right and Left, pro- and anti-war] did as well.

    After writing this on Thursday and Friday, I found out yesterday (Saturday), that I one of my cousins is currently in London. We spoke to him this morning, and he is okay. He was living in India, and I didn't know that he has been in England; his wife is currently still in Bombay, and is pregnant with their first child.

    I did IM with Nanette [mentioned above], and as far as I know, her friends in England (she had been studying abroad there this past academic year) are okay. I made contact with Alex Singleton as well, who is now working at the newly-formed 'Globalization Institute,' and he is doing fine too.

    Thank God.

    Monday, July 04, 2005

    Happy Independence Day!!

    Check out: World Net Daily ~ ~ ~ Capitol Hill Blue


    Happy Independence Day from extends its best wishes to all those in the military community this 4th of July weekend.

    History: American Revolution
    Discussion Boards
    4th of July Discounts
    Military eCards
    MORE I want more!

    Citizen Smash had a good weblog entry for today. I am sure that others did as well... I will be inserting other blog entries, under this one, very soon.

    (I wish I didn't have to go back to work tomorrow.)

    Updates: Tigerhawk had a good post up as well...
    And I think I'm [almost] Always Right, Usually Correct.

    Sunday, July 03, 2005

    From July 4th, 1821... An excerpt from the famous speech by then-Secretary of State John Quincy Adams, delivered in on the House floor, in honor of Independence Day:

    Let our answer be this: America, with the same voice which spoke herself into existence as a nation, proclaimed to mankind the inextinguishable rights of human nature, and the only lawful foundations of government. America, in the assembly of nations, since her admission among them, has invariably, though often fruitlessly, held forth to them the hand of honest friendship, of equal freedom, of generous reciprocity.

    She has uniformly spoken among them, though often to heedless and often to disdainful ears, the language of equal liberty, of equal justice, and of equal rights.

    She has, in the lapse of nearly half a century, without a single exception, respected the independence of other nations while asserting and maintaining her own.

    She has abstained from interference in the concerns of others, even when conflict has been for principles to which she clings, as to the last vital drop that visits the heart.

    She has seen that probably for centuries to come, all the contests of that Aceldama the European world, will be contests of inveterate power, and emerging right.

    Wherever the standard of freedom and Independence has been or shall be unfurled, there will her heart, her benedictions and her prayers be.

    But she goes not abroad, in search of monsters to destroy.

    She is the well-wisher to the freedom and independence of all.

    She is the champion and vindicator only of her own.

    ------===> Read the full speech...

    My Favorite Film

    If you have a few hours of spare time today (or this week even), I suggest that you rent Mel Gibson's The Patriot. Or better yet, purchase it for your collection.

    I had some good Independence Day entries two years ago. Here is my post on The Patriot:

    - - - - - - - - - - -

    Appropriate for this time of the year...

    Mel Gibson: The Patriot

    When this film came out around this time of the year three years ago, I went to the theater right after getting out of night classes the first day it showed. Gibson's movie, through its themes, exemplified a lot of what I was trying to do at the time (with regards to politics, campaigns, and issues), and it was excellent. This is the best movie among those that I've ever seen, and it also exemplifies many of the sentiments and passions behind this weekend's celebration of our nation's indepedence. Have a great Fourth of July weekend, and if you get a chance, also check out The Patriot.

    Below are some reviews and commentary from the summer of 2000 about The Patriot and patriotism:

    Orange County Register: Gibson's 'Patriot' - A Stirring Call to Liberty, July 1, 2000

    I don't know if the screenwriter, Robert Rodat - who also penned 'Saving Private Ryan' for Steven Spielberg - was deliberately echoing contemporary events, but I heard echoes:

    * Out here in California we certainly resent the dictates of the central government 3,000 miles away in the federal district, so inaptly named 'Washington.'

    * The British troops burn a church with women, children and old men inside. Could that refer to the burning of the Branch Davidians' church at Waco in 1993?

    * Several scenes show how the ill-trained colonials resort to guerrilla warfare to increase the odds against the more numerous, better-trained Redcoats, who in those days were the shock troops of the seemingly invincible superpower of Great Britain. I see in that a warning to the United States, which has become the modern worldwide meddler. If the British had no right to tell our forefathers what to do in 1776, what right has the United States to decide what goes on in Kosovo, Haiti, Iraq or Korea today?

    (Links and emphasis in this column excerpt are added by me. Read the column here.)

    Richard Poe: Leftists Fear 'The Patriot', July 4, 2000
    Dr. Chuck Baldwin: Hollywood Goes Patriotic, July 3, 2000
    Jews for the Preservation of Firearms Ownership: Getting Hollywood's Attention: Using their Language, Aug. 7, 2000
    Neal Boortz: Why Liberals Oppose Gun Ownership, June 15, 2000
    Sam Francis: 'The Patriot' teaches forgotten lessons the Left doesn't like, July 11, 2000
    Jonah Goldberg: Gibson's Revolution, July 17, 2000
    Lew Rockwell: Independence, American-Style, July 20, 2000
    Steve Bonta: Revolutionary Filmmaking, July 31, 2000
    Gary North: Yes, the British were tyrannical, July 19, 2000
    Michael Vlahos: Schooling Brits on the 'The Patriot', July 17, 2000
    Michael Pierce: Of Patriots and Scoundrels, July 14, 2000

    Update: When originally typing this entry, I had thought of including a Patriot review that I had come across at back around the time the movie came out. That site has since been taken down. That piece, by Izzy Lyman of The Homeschooling Revolution, is at another website, though.

    The Patriot review you didn't read in Time Magazine, July 4, 2000

    - - - - - - - - - -

    7/31/05: Trackbacked to Lt. Smash and Mudville Gazette...

    Thank You!

    It's been one week since I turned 24 (see posts below), but there's still time, if you want to follow one of the links... ;-)
    In fact, those two things are there throughout the year, if you want to help out.

    I don't know if anyone did anything with my Wish List, but I want to thank whoever it was who used my Associate link to purchase a book. Those of us who are 'Amazon Associates' receive 5 to 10 percent of the purchase cost, when an item [any item] is bought on And it comes at no additional cost to the purchaser.

    The reader of my blog who was kind enough to use my Associate link to make a purchase bought Professor Andrew Bacevich's important new book, The New American Militarism: How Americans Are Seduced by War. (Don't worry: shows me the title of the item bought, but no additional information about the purchase or purchaser.)

    That book must be good; I've even seen it receive respectful consideration on a few pro-war weblogs. (I saw this weblog entry a little while back; though it's not a positive review, I was glad to see it... This is at least an opportunity to see an antiwar conservative featured at the Mudville Gazette - something that's probably quite uncommon! Here is that interview with Professor Bacevich on a miliblog, and also check out this detailed review of the book, that I just found, by our good friend John Donovan.) If you buy that book through this link, I will receive a referral fee (as indicated above).

    I also wanted to provide some other suggestions of items that you might want to buy.

    David McCullough's 1776 1776 - - - Number 1 on the NY Times Bestseller list!!
    David McCullough's new bestseller. I just found John in Carolina's entry about it. This would be especially appropriate to buy, considering what day it is tomorrow.

    The Politically Incorrect Guide to American History
    Professor Thomas Woods' bestselling book angered those on the PC Left, but the neoconservatives showed their leftist roots as well, in their reaction to it. Conservative book marketers, however, featured this excellent work in their sales collections.

    Thomas DiLorenzo's famous polemic The Real Lincoln - This paperback edition has a foreward by Prof. Walter Williams
    It was frustrating a few days ago... I so much wanted to dive into the Blogosphere debate over Lincoln (which followed Senator Obama's essay in Time); I of all bloggers should have been in this, because of where I am, and because of how we debated this issue at the Leadership Institute conference, and with the big Museum opening here, where I organized student attendance, and where President and Laura Bush came as well. Senator Obama made the same statement there, and it was because of that that I thought his speech was perhaps the finest one at that event. (I say this despite the well-known fact that I campaigned hard against him.) Though I haven't done a recent blog entry about this yet, I did received a 'lanche' of sorts last week, when 'The Corner' linked to Citizen Smash's entry, where I had posted the first comment.

    Their Lives - The Women Targeted by the Clinton Machine
    Bill Clinton published a book, not too long ago, called My Life... This book, by libertarian feminist Candice Jackson, is on the many women whose lives were ruined by Bill Clinton, and his defenders; I first found out about in on The Cassandra Page, an excellent weblog that I recently discovered. As this Blogcritics review by Mover Mike (whose personal weblog I much more-recently discovered) indicates, Hillary was also involved in many of these cases, and this could be an important book, if and when she decides to run for President. This reminds me - I need to join "Blogs Against Hillary."
    Also check out Edward Klein's new bestseller, The Truth About Hillary.
    Note: Receive a free chapter of this book!

    Pat Buchanan's latest book Where the Right Went Wrong - New paperback version, with a foreward by the author
    This is an excellent book, published in time for the Republican National Convention. Many of us are still working on this problem; it's going to be hard, but there are reasons to be optimistic.

    Brand New PDA - at 70% off!!
    When looking for a gift for Nathan & Sarah (see entry below, on their wedding), I came across this item on I got them something else - this "Silver Frame Box Set" (also a good product) - but this PDA seems like a great item to buy - It's normal price is $99.99, but it is on clearance sale for only $29.88!! (After I first told someone about this, he said that it seems too good to be true, so I should snatch it up.)

    I have to go now, but I might add a few more items here later. Keep in mind that any item (used, new, book, non-book) can be purchased through my 'Associate' account at - just follow this link, which will take you to the home page of, where you can then make your purchases. (And don't worry about the fact that the url changes after you click that link; that's just the way it is.) Thanks for your support!!