Core: noun, the most important part of a thing, the essence; from the Latin cor, meaning heart.

The View from the Core by E. L. Core
America's Small Town Webzine

 Volume 1.21 Front Page July 1, 2002 


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The View’s Featured Webpages
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Down to Columns Classic

Columns, essays, and news articles (new at top)

Letting Parents Decide (06/28/02) new
By Editors of The Washington Post
“In affirming yesterday the constitutionality of Ohio’s use of vouchers in Cleveland — one of the country’s most dramatically failed school systems — the Supreme Court’s conservative majority rightly created wiggle room for states, localities and potentially even Congress to try carefully designed voucher programs. The case split the court along ideological lines, with the court’s more liberal justices all but declaring this voucher program to signify the end of church-state separation. We don’t belittle the dangers. But the dangers of vouchers are hypothetical ones at this stage. The crisis in education is real. And the court should not be insisting that the only lawful policies are the ones that have already failed.”

A Win for America’s Children (06/28/02) new
By Rod Paige in The Washington Post
“The No Child Left Behind Act, when fully implemented, will make it easier to determine what works and what doesn’t in America’s schools, and it will carry consequences for failure. Among the consequences are public school choice and access to supplemental educational services, both underwritten by federal dollars. Now the Supreme Court has opened the door to even broader school choices, not only ushering in a new era in American education policy but also potentially starting a reformation in American public education. What must emerge through this education reformation should be a focus on students and achievement, rather than on the ‘system.’”

Federal Appeals Court Rules Pledge of Allegiance Unconstitutional (06/26/02) new
In The Washington Post by David Kravets of Associated Press
“Harvard scholar Laurence Tribe predicted the U.S. Supreme Court will certainly reverse the decision unless the 9th Circuit reverses itself. ‘I would bet an awful lot on that,’ Tribe said. The 9th Circuit is the nation’s most overturned appellate court – partly because it is the largest, but also because it tends to make liberal, activist opinions, and because the cases it hears – on a range of issues from environmental laws to property rights to civil rights – tend to challenge the status quo.”

“One Nation Under God” (06/27/02) new
By Editors of The New York Times
“This is a well-meaning ruling, but it lacks common sense. A generic two-word reference to God tucked inside a rote civic exercise is not a prayer. Mr. Newdow’s daughter is not required to say either the words ‘under God’ or even the pledge itself, as the Supreme Court made clear in a 1943 case involving Jehovah’s Witnesses. In the pantheon of real First Amendment concerns, this one is off the radar screen. The practical impact of the ruling is inviting a political backlash for a matter that does not rise to a constitutional violation.”

One Nation Under Blank (06/27/02) new
By Editors of The Washington Post
“If the court were writing a parody, rather than deciding an actual case, it could hardly have produced a more provocative holding than striking down the Pledge of Allegiance while this country is at war. We believe in strict separation between church and state, but the pledge is hardly a particular danger spot crying out for judicial policing. And having a court strike it down can only serve to generate unnecessary political battles and create a fundraising bonanza for the many groups who will rush to its defense. Oh, yes, it can also invite a reversal, and that could mean establishing a precedent that sanctions a broader range of official religious expression than the pledge itself.”

The risks in the Rome Statute (07/02/02) new
By Editors of Ha’aretz
“The Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court goes into force today, establishing for the first time a permanent institution for investigating and judging people accused of crimes against humanity and war crimes. The court, which will begin operating from The Hague next year, will have the authority to judge individuals, based on complaints made to it by governments or the UN Security Council.”

Lone stand for justice (07/01/02) new
By Editors of The London Telegraph
“Hitherto, legal systems have been rooted in democratic assemblies. Laws are passed by national legislatures, which are responsible to their peoples, and treaties signed by accountable governments. But, from today, the ICC will cast off the guy-ropes that attach it to its constituent states. From now on, it will function as an international body answerable to no one. The idea that laws ought to be made by the people’s representatives will be replaced by the pre-modern concept that law-makers are answerable to no one but themselves.”

President Bush Calls for New Palestinian Leadership (06/24/02) new
George W. Bush in The Rose Garden at The White House
“I call on the Palestinian people to elect new leaders, leaders not compromised by terror. I call upon them to build a practicing democracy, based on tolerance and liberty. If the Palestinian people actively pursue these goals, America and the world will actively support their efforts. If the Palestinian people meet these goals, they will be able to reach agreement with Israel and Egypt and Jordan on security and other arrangements for independence.”

Democracy for Palestinians: Bush’s bold plan for Mideast peace. (06/25/02) new
By Editors of The Wall Street Journal
“It’s important to understand how radical this idea of democracy is for Palestine. For years the U.S. and Israel both winked at the brutality of Arab leaders, in the Faustian hope that they would provide ‘stability’ and ‘peace.’ This was the flaw at the heart of the Oslo peace process, in which the U.S. sub-contracted with Yasser Arafat to stop attacks against Israel. But this was impossible as long as Mr. Arafat and other Palestinian leaders derived all of their political legitimacy from the struggle against Israel. Yesterday Mr. Bush said this day is over.”

What it Means: Politically, Arafat is a dead man walking (06/25/02) new
By David Landau in The Ha’aretz
“Yasser Arafat, the seemingly immortal leader of the Palestinian national movement, was politically assassinated Monday by President George W. Bush. His role as Israel’s prospective partner in any future diplomatic process was effectively snuffed out by a stern-sounding American president, delivering his verdict on two years of violent intifada and his recipe for a turnabout towards peace in this war-torn region. Bush’s verdict: Arafat is the guilty party.”

An End to Pretending (06/26/02) new
By Michael Kelly in The Washington Post
“There is some limited truth in seeing what Bush is trying to do in the Middle East in traditional terms — hard-liners vs. State Department softies, etc. — but this is missing the elephant on the settee. For better or worse — a great deal better, I think — Bush has set the Palestinian issue within the context of a larger approach that is fundamentally, historically radical: a rejection of decades of policy, indeed a rejection of the entire philosophy of Middle East diplomacy. This philosophy has rested on a willingness to accept a U.S. role as a player in a running fraud.”

Admit terrorism’s Islamic link (06/24/02) new
By Michael Medved in USA Today
“Ideas — including religious ones — have consequences, and examining those consequences is the best way to judge them. Americans are mature enough to handle the inescapable truth that our daily dangers come not, as Hollywood would have it, from freelance misfits and nostalgic Nazis, but from a serious and frightening Islamic mass movement implacably devoted to our destruction.”

Judgement Day in Dallas (06/22/02)
In The Tablet by Richard Major
“Greater than any constitutional shift is a change in the way the American Catholic Church and society see each other. They are not mutually comprehending; they do not now trust each other. In Dallas justice required the Church to humble itself before society and accept the demands of public opinion. But the shattering effect of its humiliation will make the Church think more freshly of its role. Cardinal George, cool and sad, declared that this scandal would be ‘providential’ if it made the Church look beyond the particular and attend to the wider context of American society. He said: ‘The Church was weakened even before this crisis began; for a generation we have experienced profound loss. How are we to be the Catholic Church within this kind of culture?’ Then the cardinal spelled out his view of American civilisation, and the journalists began squirming, stirring in their seats, laughing nervously and snorting — which is the effect truth sometimes has on journalists. ‘Our culture is secularised protestantism, self-righteous and decadent at the same time’, Cardinal George said baldly. In such a culture, how can the Church understand itself? How can it, ‘smaller perhaps but faithful’ as it is likely to be, he said, understand anew celibacy, or homosexuality, which society does not pretend to understand either? ‘To whom do we really listen?’ he asked.”

Trying to Restore a Faith (06/15/02)
By Frank Keating in The New York Times
“Yesterday I accepted a request by the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops to become chairman of a special lay commission that will address the crisis of confidence — and in too many cases, a crisis of faith — in my church. I undertook this task after much thought and prayer, and only after specific criteria were established defining the powers and goals of the commission. Those goals can be easily summarized: to protect the innocent from abuse and exploitation, and to restore faith in the church and its leadership.”

God Save Us From Democracy (06/20/02)
By J. P. Zmirak at FrontPage Magazine
“The Vatican, for all its reputation as an international power broker, is little more than a (very tall) bully pulpit; the pope has a staff of a few hundred overworked men and women, a budget smaller than most Fortune 500 corporations, and no legal leverage. Under these constraints, it labors around the world, nudging bishops, persuading statesmen, sending missionaries, mediating wars, caring for the poor, trying to keep the Moslems from slaughtering nuns and the West from eating its young. It’s an inhuman task; that the Church succeeds at all, and has not already collapsed, ought to impress any skeptic that there’s something mysterious about this organization.... Would that happen, if ordinary Catholics — not just trouble-making, orthodox intellectuals like me — got involved in choosing bishops? In changing Church policy? You bet it would. Andrew Greeley, erotic novelist and weathervane, is probably right when he says that the average American Catholic wants both condoms and altar rails, easy divorce and ‘Ave Maria,’ sung at his daughter’s third church wedding. Subject Church teachings to plebiscite — remembering that a majority of American Catholics voted for Clinton and Gore — and what will you get? God only knows. And that’s why he’s protecting the Church from democracy.”

Throw Away the Key: Well, not really — but hold Padilla for as long as necessary. (06/20/02)
By Rich Lowry at National Review Online
“Embedded in all this heated rhetoric is the idea that there is no check on the executive’s authority in the Padilla case. But habeas corpus has not been repealed (if it had been, that would indeed be news, and actually endanger our rights). Which means that if the heavy-breathers are correct and Padilla’s rights are so obviously being trampled, his lawyer can challenge the constitutionality of his detention in court. Which is exactly what she — with plenty of help from the ACLU — is going to do.”

Powell’s Trial Balloon (06/17/02)
By William Safire in The New York Times
“1. Statehood, even if qualified as provisional or interim, confers a degree of sovereignty. That means control of borders, the ability to make treaties, and to import arms from Iraq and by sea from Iran. 2. Partial statehood would give Arafat control of an airport. A plane loaded with fuel or explosives could hit a major Tel Aviv building within three minutes, too quickly for Israeli jets to scramble. Ritual condemnation would follow. 3. Any form of statehood would limit Israel’s ability to search out bomb factories and arrest terrorist leaders. What is now a tolerable sweep into disputed territory would be denounced in the U.N. as invasion pure and simple. That would trigger European economic boycotts and draw Arab allies into a wider war.”

Qaeda’s New Links Increase Threats From Global Sites (06/16/02)
In The New York Times by David Johnston, Don Van Natta Jr. and Judith Miller
“A group of midlevel operatives has assumed a more prominent role in Al Qaeda and is working in tandem with Middle Eastern extremists across the Islamic world, senior government officials say. They say the alliance, which extends from North Africa to Southeast Asia, now poses the most serious terrorist threat to the United States. This new alliance of terrorists, though loosely knit, is as fully capable of planning and carrying out potent attacks on American targets as the more centralized network once led by Osama bin Laden, the officials said.”

Arrests Reveal Al Qaeda Plans: Three Saudis Seized by Morocco Outline Post-Afghanistan Strategy (06/16/02)
In The Washington Post by Peter Finn
“Besieged by U.S. and allied forces in December in the mountains of eastern Afghanistan, Osama bin Laden commanded his fighters to disperse across the globe to attack ‘American and Jewish interests,’ according to accounts officials here say they have obtained from three al Qaeda operatives who were captured in Morocco. The three men, citizens of Saudi Arabia, have told interrogators that they escaped Afghanistan and came to Morocco on a mission to use bomb-laden speedboats for suicide attacks on U.S. and British warships in the Strait of Gibraltar, senior Moroccan officials said. The men were captured in May in a joint Moroccan-CIA operation.”

Scholar warns West of Muslim goals (06/18/02)
At United Press International by Uwe Siemon-Netto
“A leader of the small worldwide Muslim reform movement warned the West Tuesday against wishful thinking as the U.S. government promotes an intensive dialogue with Islam. ‘The dialogue is not proceeding well because of the two-facedness of most Muslim interlocutors on the one hand and the gullibility of well-meaning Western idealists on the other,’ said Bassam Tibi.”

Iraq’s tortured children (06/22/02)
By John Sweeney of BBC News
“Ali talked about the paranoid frenzy that rules Baghdad — the tortures, the killings, the corruption, the crazy gangster violence of Saddam and his two sons. And the faking of the mass baby funerals. You may have seen them on TV. Small white coffins parading through the streets of Baghdad on the roofs of taxis, an angry crowd of mourners, condemning Western sanctions for killing the children of Iraq. Usefully, the ages of the dead babies — ‘three days old’, ‘four days old’ — are written in English on the coffins. I wonder who did that.”

2 FBI Whistle-Blowers Allege Lax Security, Possible Espionage (06/19/02)
In The Washington Post by James V. Grimaldi
“In separate cases, two new FBI whistle-blowers are alleging mismanagement and lax security — and in one case possible espionage — among those who translate and oversee some of the FBI’s most sensitive, top-secret wiretaps in counterintelligence and counterterrorist investigations. The allegations of one of the whistle-blowers have prompted two key senators — Judiciary Chairman Patrick J. Leahy (D-Vt.) and Charles E. Grassley (R-Iowa) — to pose critical questions about the FBI division working on the front line of gathering and analyzing wiretaps.”

Stop — in the Name of Hate! (06/19/02)
By Chris Weinkopf at FrontPage Magazine
“To the champions of hate-crime legislation, not all victims — and not all criminals — are the same. Race, sex, religion, or sexual preferences are crucial. They distinguish truly ghastly crimes from the mundane. Which groups are entitled to special protection (or extra prosecution) depends entirely on which biases the self-proclaimed enemies of bias enshrine that day.”

Web Thinkers Warn of Culture Clash (06/21/02)
In The Washington Post by Anick Jesdanun of Associated Press
“The Internet’s potential for promoting expression and empowering citizens is under threat from corporate and government policies that clash with the medium’s long-standing culture of openness, some leading Internet thinkers warned. At the annual Internet Society conference this week in Arlington, the engineers who built the Internet and many of the policymakers who follow its development urged caution as governments try to exert control and businesses look to maximize profits.”

Prepare for the big chill (06/22/02)
By Andrew Kenny in The Spectator
“When the global warmers tell us that the stakes are very high, they are quite right. Global warming has become an immense international gravy train worth billions of dollars. It is now one of the largest recipients of government research money in the world. It finances jobs, grants, conferences, international travel and journals. It not only keeps a huge army of people in comfortable employment but also fills them with self-righteousness and moral superiority, and satisfies those deep instincts in the Green movement for meddling, hectoring, controlling and censuring.”

Silent Spring at 40: Rachel Carson’s classic is not aging well. (06/12/02)
By Ronald Bailey at Reason Online
“So 40 years after the publication of Silent Spring, the legacy of Rachel Carson is more troubling than her admirers will acknowledge. The book did point to problems that had not been adequately addressed, such as the effects of DDT on some wildlife. And given the state of the science at the time she wrote, one might even make the case that Carson’s concerns about the effects of synthetic chemicals on human health were not completely unwarranted. Along with other researchers, she was simply ignorant of the facts. But after four decades in which tens of billions of dollars have been wasted chasing imaginary risks without measurably improving American health, her intellectual descendants don’t have the same excuse.”

Federal Judge Throws Out Charge in Shoe Bomb Case (06/11/02)
By The Associated Press at FOXNews
“A judge threw out one of nine charges Tuesday against a man accused of trying to blow up a jetliner with explosives in his shoes, ruling that an airplane is not a vehicle under a new anti-terrorism law. The charge — attempting to wreck a mass transportation vehicle — was filed under the USA Patriot Act, which was passed by Congress after the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks. U.S. District Judge William Young said that although an airplane was engaged in mass transportation it is not a vehicle as defined by the new law.”

Dispatcher Says She Was Told Not to Report Shoe-Bomb Incident (06/13/02)
In The New York Times by Matthew L. Wald
“The American Airlines dispatcher who was monitoring a trans-Atlantic flight when the captain reported that a passenger had a shoe bomb said today that her supervisor tried to prevent her from notifying the authorities. The supervisor worried that law enforcement officials would delay the plane on the ground, the dispatcher said. In a complaint filed with the Federal Aviation Administration, the dispatcher said her supervisor ‘instructed me to hold off informing the authorities because the flight would be remotely parked, and “it would be forever before we could get the plane out of there.”’”

Shoe-bomb flight conduct criticized (06/13/02)
In The Dallas Morning News by Jim Morris
“The American Airlines dispatcher who helped guide the flight carrying a suspected shoe-bomber to a safe landing in December alleged in a whistle-blower complaint Wednesday that airline supervisors interfered with her during the incident and threatened her afterward. In a complaint filed with the director of the Federal Aviation Administration’s Whistleblower Protection Program, Julie Robichaux, a 12-year American employee, said she was subjected to ‘intimidation, threats and disciplinary action’ after criticizing the airline’s handling of Flight 63 on Dec. 22.”

Post-Sept. 11 “Backlash” Proves Difficult to Quantify (06/12/02)
In The New Jersey Law Journal by Jim Edwards
“With five lawsuits filed in three states last week by the American Civil Liberties Union, all alleging racial profiling of Arabs and Asians on airplanes, Americans could be forgiven for thinking that the attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon had turned the country into a nation of vigilantes and bigots. But 10 months after the events, the official numbers tell a less alarming story. While there certainly was a hike in such bias claims since September, it’s hard to say that the increase was serious or even statistically significant.”

Much of Sept. 11 Charity Remains to Be Disbursed (06/11/02)
In The Washington Post by Lena H. Sun, Sarah Cohen and Jacqueline L. Salmon
“Of the $2.3 billion raised by the largest charities in the nine months since the terrorist attacks, 29 cents of each dollar has gone to the survivors of those killed. A survey by The Washington Post of the major charities, which raised virtually all of the funds that flowed in after Sept. 11, found that roughly 20 cents of each dollar has gone to displaced workers and others affected by the attacks and an additional 40 cents has yet to be distributed. Several charities reported that money continues to come in — in one case an average of $21,500 a day — even though the organizations have long since ended their appeals for donations.”

The State of the Special Relationship (June 2002)
By Robin Harris in Policy Review
“If America’s European allies only France and Britain possessed a significant capacity to assist in the war on terrorism, and only Britain had the will. A British task force was accordingly deployed in the Gulf; British submarines fired Tomahawks against Taliban targets on two occasions. Within Afghanistan, members of Britain’s SAS regiment — without doubt the most skilled special service forces in the world — performed taxing and dangerous tasks with great success, notably in attacking the al Qaeda training camp outside Kandahar and in hand-to-hand fighting in the Tora Bora region. British forces are still involved in mopping-up operations against the enemy. The pity is that from first to last these exploits have mattered little in the overall outcome. This has been America’s war, and the U.S. has fought it according to its own battle plan and almost entirely with its own resources.”

Occasionally, some links are moved from this section into the Featured Webpages Trove.

Classic articles that are, or should be, famous (new at top)

Advice to Graduates About Advice (06/06/1971)
By Edward C. Banfield at Claremont McKenna College
“Figures of speech, especially metaphors, are peculiarly serviceable to people who give advice about social problems. The use of them tends to create an emotional response in the listener that enhances the urgency of the ‘problem’ thus raising the value of the putative ‘solution’ that the advice-giver offers. I sometimes wonder if we could have an ‘urban crisis’ without a good supply of metaphors. Suppose that a writer could not speak of ‘decaying neighborhoods’ but instead had to say what he meant straight out — say that the well-off have moved away from aging unfashionable neighborhoods, that this has given the less well-off opportunities to move into housing better than they formerly had, and that they, for obvious reasons, are in most instances disposed to spend less on the repair and maintenance of houses than the former occupiers were. Or suppose that a United States Senator instead of saying, as one recently did, that ‘the cities are mortally sick and getting sicker’ and that the ‘states are in a state of chronic crisis’ had to speak plainly — in this instance, perhaps, to say that although in the last decade the cities and states have increased their revenues by a factor of three, there are nevertheless many voters who would like to have more spent, provided of course that the taxes are paid mainly by others.”

The End of History? (Summer 1989)
By Francis Fukuyama in The National Interest
“The triumph of the West, of the Western idea, is evident first of all in the total exhaustion of viable systematic alternatives to Western liberalism. In the past decade, there have been unmistakable changes in the intellectual climate of the world’s two largest communist countries, and the beginnings of significant reform movements in both. But this phenomenon extends beyond high politics and it can be seen also in the ineluctable spread of consumerist Western culture in such diverse contexts as the peasants’ markets and color television sets now omnipresent throughout China, the cooperative restaurants and clothing stores opened in the past year in Moscow, the Beethoven piped into Japanese department stores, and the rock music enjoyed alike in Prague, Rangoon, and Tehran. What we may be witnessing is not just the end of the Cold War, or the passing of a particular period of post-war history, but the end of history as such: that is, the end point of mankind’s ideological evolution and the universalization of Western liberal democracy as the final form of human government. This is not to say that there will no longer be events to fill the pages of Foreign Affairs’s yearly summaries of international relations, for the victory of liberalism has occurred primarily in the realm of ideas or consciousness and is as yet incomplete in the real or material world. But there are powerful reasons for believing that it is the ideal that will govern the material world in the long run.”

An Explosion of Green (Apr. 1995)
By Bill McKibben in The Atlantic
“In the early nineteenth century the cleric Timothy Dwight reported that the 240-mile journey from Boston to New York City passed through no more than twenty miles of forest. Surveying the changes wrought by farmers and loggers in New Hampshire, he wrote, ‘The forests are not only cut down, but there appears little reason to hope that they will ever grow again.’ Less than two centuries later, despite great increases in the state’s population, 90 percent of New Hampshire is covered by forest. Vermont was 35 percent woods in 1850 and is 80 percent today, and even Massachusetts, Connecticut, and Rhode Island have seen woodlands rebound to the point where they cover nearly three fifths of southern New England. This process, which began as farmers abandoned the cold and rocky pastures of the East for the fertile fields of the Midwest, has not yet run its course.... This unintentional and mostly unnoticed renewal of the rural and mountainous East — not the spotted owl, not the salvation of Alaska’s pristine ranges — represents the great environmental story of the United States, and in some ways of the whole world. Here, where ‘suburb’ and ‘megalopolis’ were added to the world’s vocabulary, an explosion of green is under way, one that could offer hope to much of the rest of the planet.”

The Doomslayer (Feb. 1997)
By Ed Regis in Wired
“The world is getting progressively poorer, and it’s all because of population, or more precisely, overpopulation. There’s a finite store of resources on our pale blue dot, spaceship Earth, our small and fragile tiny planet, and we’re fast approaching its ultimate carrying capacity. The limits to growth are finally upon us, and we’re living on borrowed time. The laws of population growth are inexorable. Unless we act decisively, the final result is written in stone: mass poverty, famine, starvation, and death. Time is short, and we have to act now. That’s the standard and canonical litany.... There’s just one problem with The Litany, just one slight little wee imperfection: every item in that dim and dreary recitation, each and every last claim, is false.... Thus saith The Doomslayer, one Julian L. Simon, a neither shy nor retiring nor particularly mild-mannered professor of business administration at a middling eastern-seaboard state university. Simon paints a somewhat different picture of the human condition circa 1997. ‘Our species is better off in just about every measurable material way,’ he says. ‘Just about every important long-run measure of human material welfare shows improvement over the decades and centuries, in the United States and the rest of the world. Raw materials — all of them — have become less scarce rather than more. The air in the US and in other rich countries is irrefutably safer to breathe. Water cleanliness has improved. The environment is increasingly healthy, with every prospect that this trend will continue.’”

A brilliant parody:

Transgressing the Boundaries: Towards a Transformative Hermeneutics of Quantum Gravity (Spring/Summer 1996)
By Alan Sokal in Social Text
“There are many natural scientists, and especially physicists, who continue to reject the notion that the disciplines concerned with social and cultural criticism can have anything to contribute, except perhaps peripherally, to their research. Still less are they receptive to the idea that the very foundations of their worldview must be revised or rebuilt in the light of such criticism. Rather, they cling to the dogma imposed by the long post-Enlightenment hegemony over the Western intellectual outlook, which can be summarized briefly as follows: that there exists an external world, whose properties are independent of any individual human being and indeed of humanity as a whole; that these properties are encoded in ‘eternal’ physical laws; and that human beings can obtain reliable, albeit imperfect and tentative, knowledge of these laws by hewing to the ‘objective’ procedures and epistemological strictures prescribed by the (so-called) scientific method.”

... and, in explanation, ...

A Physicist Experiments with Cultural Studies (May/June 1996)
By Alan Sokal in Lingua Franca
“For some years I’ve been troubled by an apparent decline in the standards of rigor in certain precincts of the academic humanities. But I’m a mere physicist: If I find myself unable to make heads or tails of jouissance and differance, perhaps that just reflects my own inadequacy. So, to test the prevailing intellectual standards, I decided to try a modest (though admittedly uncontrolled) experiment: Would a leading North American journal of cultural studies — whose editorial collective includes such luminaries as Fredric Jameson and Andrew Ross — publish an article liberally salted with nonsense if (a) it sounded good and (b) it flattered the editors’ ideological preconceptions? The answer, unfortunately, is yes.... What’s going on here? Could the editors really not have realized that my article was written as a parody?”

Networks Need a Reality Check: A firsthand account of liberal bias at CBS News. (02/13/1996)
By Bernard Goldbert in The Wall Street Journal
“There are lots of reasons fewer people are watching network news, and one of them, I’m more convinced than ever, is that our viewers simply don’t trust us. And for good reason. The old argument that the networks and other ‘media elites’ have a liberal bias is so blatantly true that it’s hardly worth discussing anymore. No, we don’t sit around in dark corners and plan strategies on how we’re going to slant the news. We don’t have to. It comes naturally to most reporters.”

There is No Time, There Will Be Time (11/18/1998)
By Peggy Noonan in Forbes ASAP
“When you consider who is gifted and crazed with rage... when you think of the terrorist places and the terrorist countries... who do they hate most? The Great Satan, the United States. What is its most important place? Some would say Washington. I would say the great city of the United States is the great city of the world, the dense 10-mile-long island called Manhattan, where the economic and media power of the nation resides, the city that is the psychological center of our modernity, our hedonism, our creativity, our hard-shouldered hipness, our unthinking arrogance.”

 
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Mostly sources of news and opinion (alphabetical)

Arts & Letters Daily
Articles of Note — New Books — Essays and Opinion

Business Daily Review
Features and Analysis — Opinions and Reviews — Strategy and Tactics

Catholic Dossier
Issues in the Round

Catholic News Service
U.S. Catholic Conference

Catholic Telecommunications
Bringing people together

Catholic World Report
“CWR is an international news magazine published by Ignatius Press.”

City Journal
The Manhattan Institute

CNSNews
Cybercast News Service

Corante
Tech News. Filtered Daily.

First Things
The Journal of Religion and Public Life

Foundation for Individual Rights in Education
“FIRE is a nonprofit educational foundation devoted to free speech, individual liberty, religious freedom, the rights of conscience, legal equality, due process, and academic freedom on our nation’s campuses.”

FrontPage Magazine
David Horowitz

The Hoover Digest: Research and Opinion on Public Policy
Hoover Institution on War, Revolution, and Peace

Jim Romenesko’s MediaNews
Poynter.org

JunkScience
All the junk that’s fit to debunk

Lucianne’s News Forum
Latest Articles

NewsMax
America’s News Page

Notable Quotables Archive @ Media Research Center
“A bi-weekly compilation of the latest outrageous,
sometimes humorous, quotes in the liberal media.”

RealClear Politics
political commentary for the political junkie

Reason Online
Free Minds and Free Markets

Reuters
The World’s Leading Provider of Financial Information and News

SciTech Daily Review
Features and Background — Books and Media — Analysis and Opinion

Statistical Assessment Service (STATS)
“A non-partisan, non-profit research organization... devoted to the accurate use of scientific and social research in public policy debate.”

Tech Central Station
Where Free Markets Meet Technology

United Press International
From the News Wire

Opinion Journal
Wall Street Journal editorial page

The Wilson Quarterly
Surveying the world of ideas for the intellectually curious reader

WorldNetDaily
A Free Press for a Free People

ZENIT News Agency
The World Seen from Rome

Reference, etc.

American Heritage Dictionary @ Bartleby.com
Fourth Edition

Columbia Encyclopedia @ Bartleby.com
Sixth Edition

The U.S. Constitution Online
Including Declaration of Independence, Articles of Confederation, and other fundamental documents of US history and law

Founder’s Library
Historical American documents

The Cambridge History of English and American Literature @ Bartleby.com
Eighteen volumes, originally published 1907-1921

Catholic Encyclopedia
“Actual work on the Encyclopedia was begun in January, 1905. It was completed in April, 1914.”

IntraText Digital Library
The missing link between text and hypertext

The 1911 Edition Encyclopedia Britannica
“This 1911 edition of the Encyclopedia Britannica is filled with historical information that is still relevant today. It fills 29 volumes and contains over 44 million words. The articles are written by more than 1500 authors within their various fields of expertise.”

The Internet Archive
Building an “Internet Library”

Collections, etc.

Special Wayback Collections at The Internet Archive:

The September 11 Web Archive
“This collection of archived documents was commissioned by the Library of Congress to preserve digital materials covering the events of September 11, 2001.”

US Election 2000
“This collection was commissioned by the Library of Congress to archive digital materials covering the Election of 2000. It contains 800 gigabytes of data gathered from 8/1/2000 to 1/21/2001.”

Web Pioneers: The Early Years
“A special Wayback collection of websites that began the Internet revolution.”

A chronicle of high-level USA government actions in September 2001, at two websites:

Ten Days in September (WP)
“This series is based on interviews with President Bush, Vice President Cheney and many other key officials inside the administration and out. The interviews were supplemented by notes of National Security Council meetings made available to The Washington Post, along with notes taken by several participants.”

Response to Terror (Austin American Stateman)
“This is an eight-part series by The Washington Post describing the response to the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks at the highest levels of government.”

News coverage of September 11 and the aftermath:

Fighting Terrorism: America Retaliates (BG)
“Archive stories from the Boston Globe: Tuesday Sept. 11 – Sunday Sept. 16”

Attack on America (Guardian Unlimited)
Special Report with continuing coverage

Miscellaneous Collections:

Catholic Poets @ ELCore.Net
Joyce Kilmer, Alice Meynell, Joseph Mary Plunkett

Verse @ Bartleby.com
Public-domain Anthologies and Individual Volumes

HTI American Verse Project
“The American Verse Project is a collaborative project between the University of Michigan Humanities Text Initiative (HTI) and the University of Michigan Press. The project is assembling an electronic archive of volumes of American poetry prior to 1920.”

Newman Reader
Life and Works of Venerable John Henry Cardinal Newman

What We Think of America (Granta)
“In this issue twenty-four writers drawn from many countries describe the part America has played in their lives — for better or worse — and deliver their estimate of the good and the bad it has done as the world’s supreme political, military, economic and cultural power.”

Hot Issues: Persecution (Christianity Today)
Reports of contemporary persecution of Christians world-wide

Gay Activism in Schools (Teachers in Focus)
“A single-themed issue on homosexual activism in the schools”

Skepticism Toward The Skeptical Environmentalist (Scientific American)
The Great Debate between Lomborg and Anti-Lomborgs

Document Archive in English (ZENIT)
The World Seen from Rome

Archives: Fallout of September 11 (ZENIT)
The World Seen from Rome

STATS Spotlight (Statistical Assessment Service)
“Here are pieces of more extensive unpublished STATS research.”

Legacy of Shame (New Times LA)
News and opinion about Roger Cardinal Mahony

A Trust Betrayed:
Sexual Abuse by Teachers (Education Week)

“This three-part series on child sex abuse by school employees is the result of a six-month project by Education Week involving scores of interviews with state and local education and law-enforcement officials, other experts, teachers, principals, parents, and victims, as well as an extensive review of court documents, journal articles, and public-policy records.”

Catholic Church Abuse Scandal (Yahoo! News)
U.S. Full Coverage

The Crusades (Catholic Dossier)
“It is difficult for one who lives in an increasingly secularized society not to be influenced by its prejudices. One of the great misunderstandings in the West, even among Catholics, has to do with the Crusades. This issue of Catholic Dossier provides fundamental and irrefutable historical information about what actually happened and why.”

Pope Pius XII (Catholic Dossier)
“The accomplishments of the Vatican diplomatic corps in the various countries occupied by the Germans, over which the sinister Eichmann preyed, had received the plaudits of all free men, not least those in the new country of Israel. There groves were planted in honor of the Pope and of many of his nuncios, not least Cardinal Roncalli who, as nuncio in Istanbul, had been the good right arm of Pius in rescuing Jews. Pius XII escaped martyrdom during his lifetime, but he has been subjected to the martyrdom of vilification, defamation and incredible falsification after his death.”

The New Rise of Islam (Catholic World Report)
“Late in the 20th century, the renewed vigor of Islam has become one of the most important developments on the world scene. By dint of their energetic proselytism, their migration to new lands, and their high birth rate, Muslims are rapidly gaining attention and influence in many countries where their faith has heretofore been virtually unknown. CWR aims to make readers better acquainted with Islam, with a primer on the religious principles, and public practices of that faith.”

Christianity and Islam, Terrorism and War (Catholic World Report)
“Why have thousands of Muslims joined in anti-American protests in Pakistan, Kenya, and Indonesia since the start of the US air strikes on terrorist bases in Afghanistan? These demonstrators are not all supporters of al-Qaeda, thirsting for American blood; they are not Arabs, caught up in the political turmoil of the Middle East. They are united only by the Muslim faith. Is it Islam, then, that prods them toward violence?”

The Cross and the Crescent (Catholic World Report)
“To a remarkable degree, America has united behind President Bush in the war on terrorism. For the first time since World War II there is an overwhelming consensus that we are fighting a necessary battle, for a just cause. That national unity is a clear sign of strength, and a clear warning to our enemies. Nevertheless, beneath the surface of that consensus the careful observer can still detect signs of the fault lines within American society. We are united against terrorists, but divided among ourselves.”

Other columnists (alphabetical)

Diane Alden
inflyovercountry

Ann Coulter
Town Hall

Bill Dunn
Faith and Funnies

Victor Davis Hanson
National Review Online

Charles Krauthammer
Washington Post

Michael Kelly
Washington Post

Jonah Goldberg
National Review Online

Jonah Goldberg
Town Hall

Nat Hentoff
The Village Voice

John Mallon
Peter’sVoice

Steve Milloy
Fox News

Peggy Noonan
Opinion Journal

Fred Reed
Commentary with Moxie

Mark Steyn
National Post

Deb Weiss
A View from Here

George F. Will
Washington Post

Weblogs (alphabetical)

The Blog from the Core
E. L. Core
Needless Commentary From Small-Town America

Ad Orientem
Mark C. N. Sullivan

Annunciations
Michael Dubruiel
(husband of blogger Amy Welborn)

BrinkLindsey.com
International politics, economics, and foreign policy

CampusNonsense
Exposing Left-Wing Lunacy

Catholic and Enjoying It!
Mark Shea
“So That No Thought of Mine, No Matter How Stupid, Should Ever Go Unpublished Again!”

ChristianityToday.com
Compiled by Ted Olsen and others

The Conservative Underground
Oubai Shabandar, Shanna Bowman, Dan Moody, Tim Richards
Culture Progress Justice

The Corner
National Review Online
(The Blog Mother Ship, according to Kevin James)

cut on the bias
Susanna Cornett
“keeping an eye on the spins and weirdness of media, crime and everyday life”

EveTushnet.com
“Conservatism reborn in twisted sisterhood”

Fool’s Folly
Emily Stimpson
Proverbs 12:23

The Goliard Blog
Kevin James
Your Destination for Deep Thoughts and Alleged Insights

Holy Weblog!
M. J. Garcia
A faithful look at the Net.

In Between Naps
Amy Welborn
(wife of blogger Michael Dubruiel)

Juan Gato’s Bucket o’ Rants
Bunch of crap from a moron.

Jumping to Conclusions
David Nieporent
“Thoughts, comments, musings on life, politics, current events and the media.”

Louder Fenn’s Whirligig
Perpetual ephemera

Mallon’s Media Watch
John Mallon
“MMW is a Catholic blog site featuring news analysis, response to and commentary on misinformed media reports on the Catholic Church.”

Media Minded
(An anonymous copy editor looks at the media, especially newspapers.)

Minute Particulars
Mark DB

Nota Bene
Sean Gallagher
Humble (oh really...?) opinions on matters of faith

Orthopraxis
Fr. Nectarios Trevino
A weblog of American Orthodoxy.

OxBlog
“The political rantings of Josh Chafetz, a graduate student in political theory at Oxford, Dan Urman, a graduate student in international relations at Oxford, and Anand Giridharadas, a junior at the University of Michigan spending the year at Oxford.”

Relapsed Catholic
Kathy Shaidle
Where the religious rubber meets the pop culture road...

Rhetorica: Commentary and Analysis
Andrew R. Cline, Ph.D.
Politics, Journalism, Rhetoric, Persuasion, Propaganda, and Spin

Sand in the Gears
Anthony Woodlief
Clogging up juggernauts since 1967.

ScottRubush.com
Scott’s little outpost of sanity on the web.

Veritas
Chris Burgwald
“A blog among friends devoted to the usually serious but occasionally frivolous search for truth in things theological, philosophical, political, historical, etc. etc.”

Series and multi-part articles of news or opinion (new at top)

Four columns by Rod Dreher at National Review Online about the June bishops’ meeting in Dallas:

The Dallas Outlook: The American bishops need a conversion. (06/12/02)
“The final hurdle the bishops must clear is... themselves. Catholics and non-Catholics alike have been sickened and astonished to confront the repugnant sex crimes — child-rape chief among them — committed by priests. They wonder, as any normal person would, what kind of men in a position of authority can learn of these unspeakable acts and fail to act to stop them. They wonder, as any normal person would, what kind of Christian leaders would protect child predators, unleash lawyers on victims of these priests, and publicly lie about these matters. They wonder, as any normal person would, why, after all that failed bishops have on their conscience — including secret sexual sin of their own — they do not resign, and go to a monastery to do penance for the rest of their lives.”

Dallas Diary: In town with the bishops. (06/13/02)
“One wonders why the bishops refused the offer of the Catholic Medical Association, a group whose number includes faithful Catholic psychiatrists who actually believe what the Church teaches, to offer their expertise at this meeting. Actually, given the lavender mafia’s power, one does not wonder for long. Here’s a recent open letter from one of the CMA’s leaders, to the bishops, saying that same-sex attraction in the priesthood is at the heart of this scandal. The bishops don’t want to hear it. And neither do the media. I’m hearing from inside press circles that reporters, editors and producers don’t want to look at the gay issue. Michael S. Rose, author of Goodbye, Good Men, is in Dallas. I spoke yesterday to a TV reporter who wants to interview Rose about his findings, but who received word from the top to stay away from him. I can’t prove it, but from the anecdotes I’m hearing, the need to avoid the ‘elephant in the sacristy,’ in Mary Eberstadt’s memorable phrase, is perhaps the only point on which the bishops and the media agree.”

Dallas Diary, Part II: Outside and around the main event. (06/14/02)
“Also absent from the conference: any official place for conservative voices of reform. Appleby and Steinfels had some good things to say, certainly, but concluded with liberal-style calls for more lay involvement. ‘This doesn’t look good,’ said Phil Lawler, editor of Catholic World Report. ‘Who on the agenda, anywhere on the agenda, is known as a stalwart defender of Catholic teaching on sexual morality?’ Lawler’s comment gets to the heart of why conservatives are not welcome here: They would have raised the issue of homosexuality among the clergy, absent which this scandal cannot be fully understood, much less dealt with. Helen Hull Hitchcock, leader of the orthodox Women for Faith and Family, asked the bishops in an afternoon press conference what it meant that as many as 90 percent of these publicly known abuse cases involve priests having sex with teenage boys. She did not get a straight answer, so to speak.”

Done in Dallas: The problems that persist. (06/17/02)
“Though the policy they adopted on Friday is clearly the strongest stand they’ve ever taken against priest sex abuse, and that there is a lot of good in it (even if it will probably be rejected by Rome), there is little reason to believe that it is much more than a quick-fix pseudo-solution, a bone tossed to quiet the baying pack of journalists and lay activists. One is most impressed not by what they did, but by what they left undone. Aside from not addressing the root causes of the scandal, the bishops refused to accept personal accountability for their paramount role in the scandal. Not one resigned. Not one was asked to resign, at least publicly. Words of apology ring hollow when not followed by action. As C. S. Lewis said, ‘A long face is not a moral disinfectant.’”

Joe Klein is writing a multi-part report from Europe for The Guardian:

France? It’s like 1970s America (05/28/02)
“Over the next six weeks, Joe Klein, America’s leading political commentator, will be travelling through Europe for the Guardian. Today, 36 years after he first arrived there in search of “dark-eyed lovelies with difficult personalities”, he reports from France”

The Prince (06/06/02)
“Is Silvio Berlusconi a medieval thowback to a time when rich men could buy power? Or the shape of things to come? And is he dangerous — or just a colourful rogue? In the second of his weekly dispatches from Europe, Joe Klein meets the billionaire prime minister who just wants to be loved”

How the Solidarity dream turned sour (06/12/02)
“Poland was eastern Europe’s great success story, a reborn country that had embraced free markets and liberal democracy and stood poised to join the EU. But now its economy is in tatters and ugly Catholic nationalism is on the rise. In the third of his weekly dispatches from Europe, Joe Klein asks what went wrong”

How Germany was suffocated (06/19/02)
“For 57 years Germany has been struggling to make amends for its Nazi past and be accepted by its neighbours. But has its desire to avoid discord stifled the nation's public life and prevented much needed reform? On the fourth leg of his European tour, Joe Klein finds a society addled by ‘ferocious blandness’”

new Who’s in charge here? (06/26/02)
“The great European project has three — or maybe four — presidents, two foreign policy chiefs and endless, baffling bureaucracy. So can it really hold its own against the might of the US? In the fifth instalment of his continental odyssey, Joe Klein travels to Brussels and Seville to find out”

The Problem of Sexual Molestation by Roman Catholic Clergy: Meeting the Problem in a Comprehensive and Responsible Manner (the 1985 report to American Bishops):

First Part
Executive Summary, Table of Contents, Forward, Introduction, Descriptions of Possible Case Scenarios, Summary of Considerations

Second Part
Summary of Considerations (cont.), Project Proposal, Scope of Services, Strategy, Conclusion

Related articles in The New York Times on the last messages to come out of the World Trade Center after the first plane struck:

History Recorded From the Messages of Victims (05/26/02)
“The primary sources for today’s article are interviews with more than 140 people who communicated with individuals on the upper floors of the twin towers, and conversations with 17 others who were at or above the impact zone in the south tower but escaped. Additionally, eight people described conditions just below the impact zone in the north tower.”

102 Minutes: Fighting to Live as the Towers Died (05/26/02)
“They began as calls for help, information, guidance. They quickly turned into soundings of desperation, and anger, and love. Now they are the remembered voices of the men and women who were trapped on the high floors of the twin towers. From their last words, a haunting chronicle of the final 102 minutes at the World Trade Center has emerged, built on scores of phone conversations and e-mail and voice messages. These accounts, along with the testimony of the handful of people who escaped, provide the first sweeping views from the floors directly hit by the airplanes and above. Collected by reporters for The New York Times, these last words give human form to an all but invisible strand of this stark, public catastrophe: the advancing destruction across the top 19 floors of the north tower and the top 33 of the south, where loss of life was most severe on Sept. 11. Of the 2,823 believed dead in the attack on New York, at least 1,946, or 69 percent, were killed on those upper floors, an analysis by The Times has found.”

Accounts From the North Tower (05/26/02)
“Following are accounts from survivors of the attack on the World Trade Center’s North Tower and the friends and relatives of the victims.”

Accounts From the South Tower (05/26/02)
“Following are accounts from survivors of the attack on the World Trade Center’s South Tower and the friends and relatives of the victims.”

Occasionally, some links are moved from this section into the Featured Webseries Trove.

 
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This View’s Column

America: Land of the Oppressed?

This is a “reprint” of a column originally published Feb. 11, The Premier Issue.

At first, I was merely amused. Shortly, I was decidedly appalled.

I was reading an article about some goings-on at Baylor University, in the Waco Tribune-Herald, November 1, 2001. Some students were objecting to the prominent placement, in a well-traveled area, of a display featuring “larger-than-life pictures of aborted fetuses”.

Baylor student Erin Connors, president of the campus organization that was responsible for bringing the two-day display to the school, said, “I feel like we’re just presenting the truth and the facts.... This is reality. We’re not trying to hide that.”

Another Baylor student, a female junior, made a complaint that really caught my eye. To spare her further embarrassment, I will refrain from telling you her name. Besides, I have a feeling she is not alone; so, to avoid getting personal, let’s just call her “Missy Baylor”.

“I believe”, said Missy Baylor, “that if you can’t avoid (seeing or hearing) something, that is oppressive”.

I laughed aloud, and said to myself, Is that what passes for oppression on college campuses these days?

I went on with my websurfing, and immediately came upon an article in the London Times, dated the same day, about an Afghan man identified only as Karimullah, in his mid-twenties. He was jailed by the Taliban in 1999 for having served with the mujahedin for the Northern Alliance.

One day, after about 12 weeks of imprisonment, Karimullah was taken from his cell and driven to a stadium where thousands of people were assembled. About a dozen mullahs sat in a row in the middle of the field, and he was placed on the ground before them.

“Seven doctors approached me”, he told the reporter. “They wore grey uniforms, surgical masks and gloves. I could see one was crying. They injected me. After five minutes my body was numb though I was still conscious. Then they put clamps on my hand and foot and began to cut them off with special saws. There was no pain but I could see what they were doing.”

In five minutes, his left foot and right hand had become spare meat.

He knows no reason for the public spectacle of his brutal treatment, though rumors have reached him that a wealthy man had paid the mullahs to substitute Karimullah to undergo the punishment required for his own crimes.

He was hospitalized for a while, then released to go home. At the sight of him thus maimed, his mother collapsed; already in poor health, she died a few hours later of a heart attack.

And... and... can you believe it? Missy Baylor thinks she is oppressed when she has to walk past a display, for two days, that might actually make her think about something she would rather ignore.

Juxtaposing in my mind the stories of Karimullah and Missy Baylor, which I had read one after the other, my amusement at her attitude changed: this young woman has a life of convenience, privilege, and luxury of which many — perhaps most — people around the world can only dream.

No, her attitude isn’t amusing: it’s appalling.

Most people alive on the Earth today would consider Missy Baylor a child of immense privilege. Radio, television, newspapers, magazines, and computers can bring her the latest news from around the world, with little or no effort on her part, and with little or no official censorship; libraries, housing the accumulated wisdom of centuries, are free (or practically so) for her use; medical treatment — to heal, not to harm — is surely available to her without much more trouble than the making of a phone call, whether for minor complaints or for life-saving surgery; she may engage in the free exchange of ideas, and take part in the daily criticism of government and officials at all levels, that would bring swift — perhaps deadly — reprisal in many nations of today, let alone those of former ages.

Indeed, most absolute monarchs of centuries past — with the power of life or death at their command — could not have imagined as luxuries the ordinary conveniences Missy Baylor takes for granted daily. Artificial light at the flick of a switch, any time of day or night; waste flushed away at the touch of a handle; hot water in a few moments at the twist of a knob; fresh fruits and vegetables available year-round at a market which may be a few blocks away, to be reached in minutes by walking, or a few miles away, to be reached in minutes by driving or riding.

Even today, hundreds of millions of men, women, and children around the world can only dream about the simple facts and ordinary realities of daily life in a civilization of technology, in a society of free assembly, movement, and expression.

No cosmic coincidence has arranged that such a life of convenience, privilege, and luxury exists among men most typically in those nations where freedom of assembly, movement, and expression have reigned longest and most assuredly.

Missy Baylor ought to kiss the ground she walks on — the land of a nation whose society is founded on the Judeo-Christian value of the dignity of the person and on the Anglo-American value of the rule of law. Without those values, and the society built upon them, her life of convenience, privilege, and luxury would be impossible. For evidence, merely look to the realities of daily life where those values never took root or did not bear fruit.

Yes, Missy Baylor ought to kiss the ground she walks on — especially now that we have learned to our sorrow that the ground we walk on can be turned into a gaping inferno of death, without warning: malicious men, with no thought of the dignity of the person or the rule of law, are learning to use our immense privileges and daily conveniences against us.

America: Land of the Oppressed? May all the citizens of the world some day be so fortunate as to be as oppressed as Missy Baylor. I think that I might know of a man far away who just may have been willing to give a hand or a foot to be able to live as she does — but he no longer has any to spare.

© ELC 2002

Column Only




 Volume 1.21 Front Page July 1, 2002 





The View from the Core, and all original material, © E. L. Core 2002. All rights reserved.

Cor ad cor loquitur J. H. Newman — “Heart speaks to heart”