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 2.17 Front Page December 30, 2002 

The View’s Featured Webpages
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Down to Columns Classic

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

Conversation on the Beach (12/06/02) new
By Solly Ganor at MEMRI
“I nodded. ‘Yes it is beautiful’. Well, we have at least one thing in common, I thought. And then I had a second thought. ‘Here stands an Arab youth next to me, in the heart of Israel, calmly admiring with me the sea. There was not a shadow of a doubt in his mind that something bad would ever happen to him here in Israel. I tried to imagine myself standing that way in Ramalah, and having that conversation with an Arab youth.... ‘Eighteen determined men with carton cutters who were not afraid to die, defied the big American might, causing them thousands of dead and trillions of dollars worth of losses. We found out that we can bring the Western capitalist system to its knees, and we shall do so! It is a shameless selfish system that causes endless human misery around the world, especially in the third world countries and for Islam. It is time for it to go!’ It was obvious from the way he said it that he didn’t say it for the first time.”

In U.S., Terrorism’s Peril Undiminished: Nation Struggles on Offense and Defense, and Officials Still Expect New Attacks (12/24/02) new
In The Washington Post by Barton Gellman
“U.S. exposure to ruinous attack, more than 15 months into the war with al Qaeda, remains unbounded. The global campaign launched by President Bush has destroyed Osama bin Laden’s Afghan sanctuary, drained his financial resources, scattered his foot soldiers and killed or captured some of his most dangerous lieutenants. But there is nothing in al Qaeda’s former arsenal — nothing it was capable of doing on Sept. 11, 2001 — that the president’s advisers are prepared to say is now beyond the enemy’s reach. The threat of bin Laden’s network — which the White House considers to number perhaps three dozen men at its vital core — continues in important ways to outpace the national response. Working-level and senior participants in the conflict, many of them interviewed at length, displayed a striking fatalism even when describing their common belief that the United States will eventually prevail. Nearly all of them, when pressed, said they would measure their success by the frequency, not the absence, of mass-casualty attacks against the American homeland.”

Landmarks during war (12/12/02) new
By R. Emmett Tyrrell at TownHall
“I know our government tells us that Islam is a very tolerant and pious religion, but I see many signs that it is neither. The fact is that here [Jerusalem] in a region where Israeli political control has preserved sacred shrines for all three of the monotheistic religions, Palestinian Muslims under the Palestinian Authority set up after the Oslo Accords have desecrated holy places, brutalized non-Muslims and driven Christians from Bethlehem after indulging in some gerrymandering that would stir admiration in an American politician. Surely you remember last April when Palestinian militants (gunmen) took over Bethlehem’s Church of the Nativity, booby-trapped its entrance and terrorized 150 worshipers for 39 days while eating the clerics’ provisions, quaffing their booze — so much for Allah’s blue laws — stealing church valuables such as gold crucifixes and using sacred scriptures for toilet paper (ah, cleanliness). That sort of barbarism is not new.”

The Accidental Imperialist (12/30/02) new
By Jackson Diehl in The Washington Post
“The Bush administration of pre-9/11 actually appeared content to string along the old policies on Iraq and North Korea. Iraq hawks inside the administration were a distinct minority, and Powell eventually won the argument about whether to reopen talks with Pyongyang. Bush’s foreign policy mostly consisted of trying to retreat from international treaties and foreign military deployments. His signature initiative was missile defense, which implicitly signaled a strategy of ignoring rogue states until their missiles reached the territory of the United States. This was a policy for the world of the 1990s, when the minority of Americans who cared about international affairs debated the indiscernible shape of the ‘post-Cold War era,’ when a booming United States felt free to nurse along, or simply neglect, threats from the likes of Iraq.”

Imperial? No, Presidential. Bush is no “Caesar.” (12/27/02) new
By Sam Tanenhaus at OpinionJournal
“The truth is that every modern president has found power to be elusive, slippery and at times treacherous. FDR, fresh off his landslide re-election in 1936, tried to ‘pack’ the Supreme Court, only to suffer a humiliating defeat at the hands of Congress. Four years later, he was elected to an unprecedented third term, yet he struggled uphill to persuade Congress and the people to intervene in World War II.... The ‘imperial presidency’ is not a useful idea. It is an epithet, dredged up whenever a president combines strength with imagination. But even the strongest presidents have known, or learned soon, that they occupy an office fraught with risk and are never more vulnerable than when their power seems greatest. They are, in sum, leaders, not rulers — which means, of course, that they are not imperial at all.”

A not very wise Archbishop (12/29/02) new
By Mark Steyn in The London Telegraph
“‘Even on their way to the Christ child, the Wise Men create the type of havoc that complicated people create,’ said Dr Williams. ‘It is as if the wise, the devious and the resourced can’t help but make the most immense mistakes of all. The strategists who know the possible ramifications of politics miss the huge and obvious things and wreak yet more havoc and suffering.’ Even for the Western world’s self-loathers, this breaks new ground. You can certainly draw parallels between Herod and Saddam — Herod was a blood-soaked gangster who enjoyed murdering members of his immediate family almost as much as Saddam does. But the notion that the Wise Men are the equivalent of the Pentagon’s hawks is so perverse no serious theologian would advance it. When they arrived in Jerusalem from Araby and Persia, the Wise Men told Herod that they’d come to worship the newborn king. Naturally, the old butcher didn’t like the sound of this, but he slyly told them to continue on to Bethlehem and ‘when ye have found him, bring me word again, that I may come and worship him also’. How naive do you have to be to swallow that baloney? The Wise Men were Herod’s patsies, his useful idiots. Now who does that sound like? Bush, Cheney and Rumsfeld? Or Dr Williams, Sean Penn and George Galloway, to name just three of the legions of ‘wise men’ who insist that their appeasement of Saddam demonstrates their superior insight and intelligence?”

Iraqi Aftershocks: Being on the wrong side of history won’t be pretty. (12/27/02) new
By Victor Davis Hanson at National Review Online
“Slowly we are coming to the last few moves of a yearlong and tedious game. Saddam Hussein supposes that through delay, denial, and obstruction he can for a second decade stymie weapons inspectors and international bureaucrats, and thereby outfox the United States — in the process snatching victory from his rendezvous with ruin. He has slowly boxed himself into a corner in which he must deny the presence of weapons that he — and the world — knows exist. When that revelation of their existence occurs, checkmate looms, and the wages of war follow — some time, I imagine, between mid-January and early March. Few who now express empathy, if not support, will join in Saddam’s jihad. The Arab world, after all, can tolerate well enough genocide and torture, but not at all the humiliation of riding a sickly horse.”

The War: A reminder. (12/21/02)
By Victor Davis Hanson at National Review Online
What do they really want? It is hard to tell, inasmuch as their grandiose schemes are as illogical as Hitler’s — but no less dangerous. But if we take them at their word, their Middle East would look something like the Taliban’s Afghanistan or the mullahs’ Iran — a vast tribal, patriarchal, and theocratic society on a continental scale. It would be run by zealots and religious extremists who would institute a medieval sort of Islamic law, even as the leaders themselves, like Ottoman grandees of old, would continue to be parasitic on the West — importing their own eyeglasses, medicines, videos, and electronic technology. Politically, they would hope to expand on the model of Iranian theocracy and terror, using vast oil revenues to buy missiles and eventually components for nuclear weapons — first to obliterate Israel, then to either blackmail or attack us.”

Islam Soft and Hard: PBS’s whitewashed commercial for Islam. (12/19/02)
By Robert Spencer at National Review Online
“For many, if not most, of its adherents, Islam may indeed be, as Mohamed Zakariya calls it, ‘a soft thing... not a hard thing.’ But for so many Muslims their religion is so clearly a ‘hard thing’ that PBS could have performed a great service by explaining this dichotomy and elucidating the conflict within the Islamic world between the ‘soft’ Muslims and the ‘hard’ ones. Instead, Muhammad: Legacy of a Prophet is nothing more than misleading propaganda. It’s an abject failure as a source for the whole truth about Islam and a clarification of the bewildering features of the contemporary scene. It would be wonderful if PBS’s attractively packaged, sanitized version of Islam were the only Islam.”

The Jewish-Friendly Koran: A whole new context. (12/19/02)
By David Klinghoffer at National Review Online
“I wish I could crawl into the head of British historian Karen Armstrong, whose comments about Islam and the prophet Muhammad are astonishing. In good conscience, how does she say the things she does? My occasion for asking is a new PBS documentary, Muhammad: Legacy of a Prophet, that debuted Wednesday [Dec. 18] night. The filmmakers take pains to show how cuddly and non-threatening a religion Islam is, but the most mind-blowing words in the two hours of footage are from Ms. Armstrong. She says, ‘Muhammad had nothing against the Jewish people per se, or the Jewish religion. The Koran continues to tell Muslims to honor the People of the Book.’ .... Author of Mohammed: A Biography of the Prophet and Islam: A Short History, Armstrong presumably has studied the Koran carefully enough to know this. Or has she?”

PBS, Recruiting for Islam (12/17/02)
By Daniel Pipes in The New York Post via
“What would be the best way to convert lots of Americans to Islam? Forget print, go to film. Put together a handsome documentary with an original musical score that presents Islam’s prophet Muhammad in the most glowing manner, indeed, as a model of perfection. Round up Muslim and non-Muslim enthusiasts to endorse the nobility and truth of his message. Splice in vignettes of winsome American Muslims testifying to the justice and beauty of their Islamic faith. Then get the U.S. taxpayer to help pay for it. Show it at prime time on the most high-minded TV network. Oh, and screen it at least once during the holidays, when anyone out of synch with Christmas might be especially susceptible to another religion’s appeal. This is precisely what the producers of ‘Muhammad: Legacy of a Prophet’ have done.”

Schoolbooks are flubbing facts: Texts filled with errors and political correctness (12/21/02)
In The New York Daily News by Alison Gendar and Douglas Feiden
“Ever wonder what your children might be learning when they hit the books in the New York City public schools? A kinder, gentler definition of jihad. It really means ‘to do one’s best to resist temptation and overcome evil.’ An error-filled version of global geography. The equator actually passes through Florida, Texas and Arizona. A saga of a swashbuckling hero of today who can be compared to ancient historical heroes dating to the Trojan War: Indiana Jones. The world of 21st century textbook education is a learning laboratory in which agendas, ideologies and errors all too often trump balance, accuracy and fairness.”

College Seniors No More Knowledgeable Than 1950s High School Grads (12/18/02)
At CNSNews by Scott Hogenson
“The college seniors of today have no better grasp of general knowledge than the high school graduates of almost half a century ago, according to the results of a new study. The average of correct responses for modern college seniors on a series of questions assessing ‘general cultural knowledge’ was 53.5 percent compared with 54.5 percent of high school graduates in 1955, according to a survey by Zogby International.”

Race and Republicans: From William Lloyd Garrison to Trent Lott. (12/17/02)
By Alvin S. Felzenberg in The Weekly Standard
“From their 1854 beginning, the Republicans were the party that fought slavery, imposed Reconstruction, and opposed segregation, while the Democrats were the party of Jim Crow, race baiting, and Dixiecrats. But for many years, ‘progressive’ historians have been telling a story of America’s ‘steady march to liberalism,’ in which all good comes from Democrats and all evil from Republicans. And not only have Democrats learned this false lesson and claimed an undeserved reputation on race, but even Republicans have absorbed their enemies’ lesson — until at last they find themselves claiming Jefferson Davis as one of their own. In order to construct their progressive story, these left-leaning historians — Henry Steele Commanager, Allen Nevins, Claude G. Bowers, and the Arthur Schlesingers — were forced to pass over innumerable Democratic sins: Andrew Jackson’s treatment of native Americans, southern populists’ racial demonizing, Woodrow Wilson’s segregationism, William Jennings Bryan’s support of the Ku Klux Klan, and Franklin Roosevelt’s indifference to anti-lynching legislation.”

Democracy and Islam After September 11: The case for optimism. (12/13/02)
By Stephen Schwartz in The Weekly Standard
“I do not see September 11 as an act of protest by Muslims or Arabs oppressed by the advance of Western democracy or the success of Israel. I see it as an act of provocation by Saudi-based extremists, intended to divert the younger, better-educated, middle-class strata of Saudi society, and similar social elements elsewhere in the Muslim and Arab worlds, from their growing demands for restoration of Islamic pluralism and the right to live normal lives, in a normal country, in a world at peace. Generations have grown up and become educated in Saudi Arabia, and they are no longer willing to live in the old way. This is a self-evident fact. Furthermore, the Saudi monarchy and its allies, the Wahhabi religious hierarchy, can no longer rule in the old way. This is also a manifest truth.”

Wrestling with Islam (11/21/02)
By David Warren at David Warren Online
“What we have today is the progress of Islamism in two, naturally converging, forms. There is the so-called moderate form — Islamicization of the laws and bureaucracy, even in the old civil courts. And also, in its so-called radical form, in the growth of a terrorist underground, feeding on trouble in Afghanistan and Kashmir, and feeding off the huge sums of oil-money arriving courtesy of the puritanical, Wahabi sheiks of Arabia. By both means, by both routes, and floating on the tide of Gulf oil money, the same, very international ideology is being imposed, overlaid, on a traditional and very particular society, already shaken off its tree by a catastrophically failed socialism.”

Denial & panic (12/15/02)
By David Warren at David Warren Online
“James Woolsey, a former director of the CIA, delivered a very interesting talk recently over breakfast at a Washington retreat. He was giving his hesitantly on-the-record assessment of how ‘World War IV’ is going. (The expression implies that World War III was the Cold War, which we were able to win against Communism by steadfastness, luckily without a thermonuclear exchange.) He pointed out a number of distressing things about the degree of our exposure. For if the radical Islamists were just a little more intelligently organized, a little less obsessed with symbols and a little more with substance, they wouldn’t need much luck to kill millions of people and bring the whole Western economy crashing down.”

The Liberal Quandary Over Iraq (12/08/02)
By George Packer in The New York Times Magazine
“In this strange interlude, with everyone waiting for war, I’ve had extended conversations with a number of these Bosnian-generation liberal intellectuals — the ones who have done the most thinking and writing about how American power can be turned to good ends as well as bad, who don’t see human rights and democracy as idealistic delusions, and who are struggling to figure out Iraq. I’m in their position; maybe you are, too. This Bosnian generation of liberal hawks is a minority within a minority, but they hold an important place in American public life, having worked out a new idea about America’s role in the post-cold war world long before Sept. 11 woke the rest of the country up. An antiwar movement that seeks a broad appeal and an intelligent critique needs them. Oddly enough, President Bush needs them, too.”

Saddam and al Qaeda (12/09/02)
By David Rose in The Evening Standard
“Despite their bitter divisions over possible war in Iraq, doves and many hawks on this side of the Atlantic share a common, often-stated belief: that there is ‘no evidence’ of a link between Osama bin Laden’s al Qaeda network and Saddam Hussein’s regime. In London and Washington, the Foreign Office, MI6, the State Department and the CIA have been spinning this claim to reporters for more than a decade, long before the attacks of 11 September last year. Constant repetition of an erroneous position does not, however, make it true. Having investigated the denial of an Iraqi connection for more than a year, I am convinced it is false. The strongest evidence comes from a surprising source — the files of those same intelligence agencies who have spent so long publicly playing this connection down.”

Text of celebrities’ letter to Bush (12/10/02)
From Artists United to Win Without War to President Bush at MSNBC
“War talk in Washington is alarming and unnecessary. We are patriotic Americans who share the belief that Saddam Hussein cannot be allowed to possess weapons of mass destruction. We support rigorous UN weapons inspections to assure Iraq’s effective disarmament. However, a preemptive military invasion of Iraq will harm American national interests. Such a war will increase human suffering, arouse animosity toward our country, increase the likelihood of terrorist attacks, damage the economy, and undermine our moral standing in the world. It will make us less, not more, secure. We reject the doctrine — a reversal of long-held American tradition that our country, alone, has the right to launch first-strike attacks. The valid U.S. and UN objective of disarming Saddam Hussein can be achieved through legal diplomatic means. There is no need for war. Let us instead devote our resources to improving the security and well-being of people here at home and around the world. (Signed) ....”

The Boston Disease: What remains after Cardinal Law. (12/13/02)
By Michael Novak at National Review Online
“The tragic fall of Cardinal Law has brought all these old memories to the surface. His fall is tragic because it was through a weakness of his own (a weakness internal to one of his virtues) that he did himself in. He believed it a bishop’s duty to be a father to his priests, to be especially compassionate to them, to nurse them along — and he did so, the record shows, most unwisely, and in the end destructively, both of some of them and of himself, and of the reputation of the archdiocese. Meanwhile, he lost sight for far too long of the gaping wounds inflicted on vulnerable young people, on families, on the confidence and trust of the laity. His priests kept letting him down, he became preoccupied with the priests, he forgot the flock they were pledged to have been guarding. Some few shepherds — but far too many for any one place — ran with the wolves. A bishop is not merely a company commander, in charge of officers immediately below him; his foremost duty is to his people, all of them, to protect them from the wolves and guide them, to instruct them, and to bring them to holiness.”

State of Law: The Boston cardinal resigns. (12/13/02)
By Rod Dreher at National Review Online
“There are those who accuse the judge of unfairness, the attorney general of grandstanding, and the media of anti-Catholic bias. There may be a measure of truth in any and all of these allegations, but here’s the bottom line: Horrendous crimes were committed by priests against children and others, and those crimes were systematically covered up by Church officials, who in many cases allowed the offenders to continue in ministry, where they went on to abuse further. If not for the state and the media, we would not know these things, and the system would still be in place. They have done the Church a favor.”

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

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

Frequently Used Words and Phrases of the PC Lexicon (September 1990) new
In The Peninsula at Harvard University via The Augustine Club at Columbia University
“Learning and understanding Harvardspeak can be a difficult and frustrating experience for the uninitiated. To help newcomers become well-adjusted as quickly as possible we offer the following lexicon of Harvard terms, with their translations in standard American English. ultra-conservative (noun or adj): conservative. conservative (noun or adj): moderate. moderate (noun or adj): liberal. liberal (noun or adj): leftist. leftist (noun or adj): Communist. Communist (noun or adj): Label unfairly used by right-wingers to refer to leftists. Otherwise, does not exist.... discrimination (noun): the act of withholding special benefits and attention from a minority. minority (noun): Any PC group that can claim it is oppressed. oppressed (adj): the state of holding PC status while not receiving enough special benefits and attention. enough (adj): Never.”

Vicious Stereotypes in Polite Society (1991)
By Douglas Laycock in Constitutional Commentary
“Among the educated classes that have been most sensitized to the dangers of the most widely condemned stereotypes, other stereotypes and prejudices flourish. Respected academics and journalists, and respected journals who pride themselves on their tolerance, publish extraordinary statements about groups that have generally failed to engage the sympathies of intellectuals.... Many of us — probably most of us — have acted on unstated and unexamined assumptions that would be as offensive as these if we committed them to print without the veil of euphemisms. Printed or unprinted, flagrant or veiled, these stereotypes are corrosive of the social fabric. The only way to resist is to highlight them and to sensitize ourselves to them. One group that can still be safely insulted is the seriously religious. Fundamentalists, evangelicals, and Catholics remain fair game in many circles. Michael Smith has collected numerous antireligious passages in Supreme Court opinions, one of them a quotation from an anti-Catholic hate tract. Suzanna Sherry, writing in the Michigan Law Review, equated fundamentalist legislators with racist school boards: ‘There are still racist school boards in a nation that generally finds racism intolerable, fundamentalist legislators in a nation that rejects a national religion, and so on.’ The skillful parallelism of the sentence packs powerful implications. Fundamentalism is parallel to racism as a threat to constitutional values; fundamentalists oppose the consensus against a national religion just as racists oppose the consensus against racism. If Professor Sherry knows that fundamentalist legislators are protected by the test oath clause, she gives no hint of it. If she knows that few fundamentalists want a national religion, she gives no hint of that either.”

The Role of Government in Education (1955)
By Milton Friedman in Economics and the Public Interest
“This re-examination of the role of government in education suggests that the growth of governmental responsibility in this area has been unbalanced. Government has appropriately financed general education for citizenship, but in the process it has been led also to administer most of the schools that provide such education. Yet, as we have seen, the administration of schools is neither required by the financing of education, nor justifiable in its own right in a predominantly free enterprise society. Government has appropriately been concerned with widening the opportunity of young men and women to get professional and technical training, but it has sought to further this objective by the inappropriate means of subsidizing such education, largely in the form of making it available free or at a low price at governmentally operated schools. The lack of balance in governmental activity reflects primarily the failure to separate sharply the question what activities it is appropriate for government to finance from the question what activities it is appropriate for government to administer — a distinction that is important in other areas of government activity as well. Because the financing of general education by government is widely accepted, the provision of general education directly by govern mental bodies has also been accepted. But institutions that provide general education are especially well suited also to provide some kinds of vocational and professional education, so the acceptance of direct government provision of general education has led to the direct provision of vocational education. To complete the circle, the provision of vocational education has, in turn, meant that it too was financed by government, since financing has been predominantly of educational institutions not of particular kinds of educational services.”

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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The American Prowler
An Online Publication of the American Alternative Foundation

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Articles of Note — New Books — Essays and Opinion

ArtsJournal: Daily Arts News
The Daily Digest of Arts & Cultural Journalism

Best of the Web Today

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

Campus Watch
Monitoring Middle East Studies on Campus

Catholic Dossier
Issues in the Round

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Catholic Telecommunications
Bringing people together

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

City Journal
The Manhattan Institute

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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

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The Human Nature Daily Review
News & Views — Papers & Commentary — Reviews & Discussion

The Hoover Digest: Research and Opinion on Public Policy
Hoover Institution on War, Revolution, and Peace
From Oklahoma City to the Middle East — An Investigative Report

Jim Romenesko’s MediaNews

All the junk that’s fit to debunk

Lucianne’s News Forum
Latest Articles

The New Republic
Occasional Intelligence on the Left

America’s News Page
A Nonprofit Organization Promoting Free Inquiry in Academia

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

Wall Street Journal editorial page

US Army War College Quarterly

Philosphy & Literature
arts — ideas — debate

RealClear Politics
political commentary for the political junkie

Reason Online
Free Minds and Free Markets

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

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

A Free Press for a Free People

ZENIT News Agency
The World Seen from Rome

Reference, etc.

American Heritage Dictionary @
Fourth Edition

Columbia Encyclopedia @
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 @
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.”

Coverage of September 11 and the aftermath:

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

Sept. 11: One Year After (Boston Globe)
Coverage of the first anniversary, etc.

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

9-11 A Year Later (USA Today)
Special Investigations, etc.

9/11: One year later (Pittsburgh Post-Gazette)
The Attack on America

NRO 911 Archive (National Review Online)
Collected writings from the early aftermath of Sept. 11, 2001

Complete coverage of 9/11/02 (New York Daily News)
The Daily News’ coverage of the first anniversary of the Sept. 11 attacks

9-11: One Year Later (Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel)
Coverage of the first anniversary of the Sep. 11 attacks

September 11th One Year Later (Pittsburgh Tribune-Review)
Coverage of events marking September 11, 2002

Miscellaneous Collections:

Historic Documents (CNSNews)
“ is pleased to present this library of important documents as a public service”

Jonathan & Reginald Carr on Trial (Wichita Eagle)
Local newspaper coverage of the trial of two brothers who went on a robbery/murder rampage, December 2000, in Kansas

Bali Blasts (Sydney Morning Herald)
Special coverage of the terrorist bombings in Bali

Sniper Shootings (The Washington Post)
Full Coverage of the Beltway Sniper

Sniper shootings coverage (The Baltimore Sun)
Full Coverage of the Beltway Sniper

Abortion Bias Seeps Into the News (Los Angeles Times)
“A four-part 1990 study of major newspaper, television and newsmagazine coverage over 18 months, including more than 100 interviews with journalists and with activists on both sides of the abortion debate, confirms that this bias often exists.”

“All Nine Alive!” (Pittsburgh Post-Gazette)
The story of the Quecreek Mine rescue

“I was a Negro in the South for 30 days” (Pittsburgh Post-Gazette)
“Fifty years ago [1948], Ray Sprigle of the Post-Gazette posed as a black man to experience firsthand what life was like for 10 million people living under the system of legal segregation known as Jim Crow.”

Catholic Poets (ELCore.Net)
Ernest Dowson, Joyce Kilmer, Alice Meynell, Joseph Mary Plunkett

Verse (
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 (ed. Bob Elder)
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.”

A Call for “Holy War” (Pittsburgh Tribune-Review)
Pittsburgh-area connections to radical Islamists

Roe vs. Wade (no violence period.)
“Background information” and “unconventional analyses”

The Gay Marriage Debate (National Review Online)
“Following are the most recent comments of Stanley Kurtz, Jonathan Rauch, and Hadley Arkes on gay marriage.”

Other columnists (alphabetical)

Diane Alden

Ann Coulter
Gorgeous blonde conservative firebrand

Bill Dunn
Faith and Funnies

Victor Davis Hanson
National Review Online

James Hitchcock
Women for Faith & Family

Michael Kelly
Washington Post

Charles Krauthammer
Washington Post

John Leo
Town Hall

Jonah Goldberg
National Review Online

Jonah Goldberg
Town Hall

Nat Hentoff
The Village Voice

John Mallon

Michelle Malkin
Jewish World Review

Steve Milloy
Fox News

Peggy Noonan
Opinion Journal

Fred Reed
Commentary with Moxie

Mark Steyn
The One-Man Global Content Provider

Deb Weiss
A View from Here

George F. Will
Washington Post

David Warren
Essays on Our Times

Diana West
Town Hall

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

A two-part interview of “Fr. James V. Schall on Reason and Faith” at The Claremont Institute:

new Part I (12/05/02)
“In our terms, in natural right discussion, one can use that word ‘right.’ It is a very useful word. It describes that which is due to any human being, objectively speaking, and therefore, what is due to him by others, something by duty. Thus, because there is, in reality, an objective truth that is owed to a rights-holder, ‘right’ is not something that is artificially created by will. Whereas, if we conceive of ‘right’ as that which the state grants us, intellectually it means that we have a ‘right’ to do whatever we want to do or whatever the state permits. Hence, we have a rights theory that simply means that what I will is all right. The famous comment by John Austin on the British Parliament meant that the British Parliament can do what it wants to do. That may be true as a theory of sovereignty in which sovereignty simply means the highest authority to enforce a law — ‘no writ runs against the king.’ But we still have the question of what transcends the positive law, the natural law question. Without a natural law, sovereignty simply means that what the legislature or de facto political power can do in terms of the law is unlimited.”

new Part II (12/05/02)
“The Crusades were a much-delayed defensive action that, had they not been undertaken, would have opened Europe to be conquered by a very aggressive Islam. The Crusades were a response to a religion that had conquered three quarters of the Mediterranean, mostly Christian, world, without much effective response. It would have conquered the rest of it had it not been repulsed. The Crusades, granted well-known problems, were a defensive reaction that, in a certain sense, prevented an Islamization of Europe. We seem now to witness a renewed effort again to expand Islam outside its desert confinements. One thing that I find especially interesting is that Islam would probably win this battle against the West if it did not choose to fight, if it just kept increasing in numbers before a declining western population. There was a lead article in the Post the other day that said something like half of the new jobs in the United States are taken by immigrants, that is, by someone else’s children. What does that mean? It means that the whole structure of society is changing right before our eyes and we fail to acknowledge the ‘culture of death’ as a major cause.”

A continuing series by Michael Kelly in The Washington Times:

Left Everlasting (12/11/02)
“The independent media analyst S. Robert Lichter looked at 10 major surveys on the political beliefs and voting patterns of mainstream print and broadcast journalists from 1962 to 1996. As Lichter writes, ‘the pattern of results is compelling.’ The percentage of journalists who were classified as ‘liberals’ were, survey to survey: 57, 53, 59, 42, 54, 50, 32, 55, 22 and 61. The percentage classified as ‘conservative,’ survey by survey: 28, 17, 18, 19, 17, 21, 12, 17, 5 and 9. Voting patterns and findings on specific issues (for instance, regarding abortion, gun control or taxes) have consistently mirrored these general attitudes. Surveys since have shown no overall change in this dynamic.”

Left Everlasting (Cont’d) (12/18/02)
“As Lichter has written, ‘Even the most conscientious journalists cannot overcome the subjectivity inherent in their profession, which is expressed through such everyday decisions as whether a topic is newsworthy or a source trustworthy.’ To this, we journalists argue that we — unique among humans — are able to see the world and its events free from the prejudices of our own vantage points. How can this be? Because, we say, of our professional training and discipline. But we don’t have any professional training or discipline. Journalism is not a profession in the sense of medicine or law or science. Journalists do not go through years of brutal academic apprenticeship designed to inculcate adherence to an agreed-upon code of ethics (such as the Hippocratic oath) or an agreed-upon method of truth-determining (such as the method of scientific inquiry). We are not required to meet any standards of knowledge. We are not certified. We operate under no mandated professional set of rules. We need not even be decently educated, as consumers of news frequently notice.”

A three-part interview of Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger at Zenit:

Cardinal Ratzinger Calls Relativism the New Face of Intolerance: Has Advice for Young Theologians; Speaks of the Role of Universities (12/01/02)
“Q: Some interpret the fact of proclaiming Christ as a rupture in the dialogue with other religions. How can one proclaim Christ and dialogue at the same time? Cardinal Ratzinger: I would say that today relativism predominates. It seems that whoever is not a relativist is someone who is intolerant. To think that one can understand the essential truth is already seen as something intolerant. However, in reality this exclusion of truth is a type of very grave intolerance and reduces essential things of human life to subjectivism. In this way, in essential things we no longer have a common view. Each one can and should decide as he can. So we lose the ethical foundations of our common life. Christ is totally different from all the founders of other religions, and he cannot be reduced to a Buddha, a Socrates or a Confucius. He is really the bridge between heaven and earth, the light of truth who has appeared to us.”

Cardinal Ratzinger Sees a Media Campaign Against Church: Sees Agenda Behind the Reporting in U.S. (12/03/02)
“Q: If we made an evaluation of Pope John Paul II’s extraordinary activity, what would be this papacy’s most important contribution? How will Christianity remember this Pope? Cardinal Ratzinger: I am not a prophet; that is why I do not dare say what they will say in 50 years, but I think the fact that the Holy Father has been present in all areas of the Church will be extremely important. In this way, he has created an extremely dynamic experience of catholicity and of the unity of the Church. The synthesis between catholicity and unity is a symphony — it is not uniformity. The Church Fathers said it. Babylon was uniformity, and technology creates uniformity.... I think some documents will be important forever: I want to mention the encyclicals Redemptoris Missio, Veritatis Splendor, Evangelium Vitae, and also Fides et Ratio. These are four documents that will really be monuments for the future.”

Cardinal Ratzinger on Why It’s Not Time for Vatican III: Also Discusses Interreligious Dialogue, and Fallout from Dominus Iesus (12/04/02)
“Q: What is the present state of the ecumenical communication of the concept of Church? In the wake of the instruction Dominus Iesus of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, there were criticisms among the representatives of the evangelical churches, because they did not accept or did not understand well the statement that, rather than churches, they should be considered as Christian communities. Cardinal Ratzinger: This topic would call for a long discussion. In the first place, we were told that if in Dominus Iesus we had only spoken about the unique character of Christ, the whole of Christianity would have been delighted with this document, all would have joined in applauding the congregation. “Why did you add the ecclesiological problem that has resulted in criticisms?” we have been asked.... I am convinced that we [in Dominus Iesus] have interpreted Vatican II’s Lumen Gentium in a totally faithful manner, while in the last 30 years we have increasingly attenuated the text. In fact, our critics have said to us that we have remained faithful to the letter of the council, but we have not understood the council. At least they acknowledge that we are faithful to the letter.”

A three-part series “Gun Control Myths” by Thomas Sowell at Town Hall:

Part I (11/26/02)
“Gun control zealots love to make highly selective international comparisons of gun ownership and murder rates. But Joyce Lee Malcolm points out some of the pitfalls in that approach. For example, the murder rate in New York City has been more than five times that of London for two centuries — and during most of that time neither city had any gun control laws. In 1911, New York state instituted one of the most severe gun control laws in the United States, while serious gun control laws did not begin in England until nearly a decade later. But New York City still continued to have far higher murder rates than London.”

Part II (11/27/02)
“The grand dogma of the gun controllers is that places with severe restrictions on the ownership of firearms have lower rates of murder and other gun crimes. How do they prove this? Simple. They make comparisons of places where this is true and ignore all comparisons of places where the opposite is true. Gun control zealots compare the United States and England to show that murder rates are lower where restrictions on ownership of firearms are more severe. But you could just as easily compare Switzerland and Germany, the Swiss having lower murder rates than the Germans, even though gun ownership is three times higher in Switzerland. Other countries with high rates of gun ownership and low murder rates include Israel, New Zealand and Finland.”

Part III (11/28/02)
“Facts are not the real issue to gun control zealots, who typically share the left’s general vision of the world, in which their own superior wisdom and virtue need to be imposed on others, whether on guns, the environment, or other things. When John Lott asked the gun control crusader to look at the facts he had amassed, he may have thought that the issue was simply whether one policy was better than another. But what was really at stake was a whole vision of society and the crusader’s own sense of self. No wonder she could not risk looking at the facts.”

A three-part series “At the Gates, Again” by Brink Lindsey at National Review Online:

A New Barbarism (11/19/02)
“Here is the gist of it: We find ourselves, once more, in that paradoxical vulnerability that our forebears suffered for more than 20 centuries. The old menace, long vanquished, has returned in new guise. We are threatened again by an enemy whose weaknesses in peace become strengths in war. Our civilization is exposed to ruin by the very sources of its greatness. After a long respite, the barbarians are at the gate again.”

Terrorism & Trust (11/20/02)
“The civilized world’s exposure to barbarian assault arises today, as it did in the past, out of the very sources of our prosperity and power. Most obviously, Western technological prowess can now be turned and used against us. The logic of technological progress is that it democratizes power over the elements. As we continue to innovate and grow richer, more and more people have ever-greater access to increasingly potent capabilities. Since the capabilities themselves are morally neutral, the consequence is this dark irony: The more technological dynamism unleashes the creative energies of the best among us, the more widely available are destructive energies to the worst among us.”

War & the Battle of Ideas (11/21/02)
“The new barbarian threat, like that of old, grows out of civilizational backwardness. Specifically, the Islamist radicals who now plot against us are a product of the political, economic, and cultural failures of the underdeveloped world. Brooding resentment of those failures has mixed with fundamentalist Islam to produce a totalitarian ideology bent on an apocalyptic showdown with the West. ”

A classic series in The Los Angeles Times documenting the pro-abortion bias of mainstream media, especially newspapers:

Abortion Bias Seeps into the News (07/01/90)
“When reporter Susan Okie wrote on Page 1 of the Washington Post last year that advances in the treatment of premature babies could undermine support for the abortion-rights movement, she quickly heard from someone in the movement. ‘Her message was clear,’ Okie recalled recently. ‘I felt that they were... (saying) ‘You’re hurting the cause’... that I was... being herded back into line.’ Okie says she was ‘shocked’ by the ‘disquieting’ assumption implicit in the complaint — that reporters, especially women reporters, are expected to write only stories that support abortion rights.”

Abortion Foes Stereotyped, Some in the Media Believe (07/02/90)
“When abortion opponents picketed Turner Broadcasting System last summer to protest the showing of a film promoting abortion rights, TBS Chairman Ted Turner called the demonstrators ‘bozos’ and ‘idiots.’ Many in the anti- abortion movement say Turner was simply giving public voice to what many in the media privately think of their movement. Some reporters agree. Journalists tend to regard opponents of abortion as ‘religious fanatics’ and ‘bug-eyed zealots,’ says Ethan Bronner, legal affairs reporter for the Boston Globe, who spent much of last year writing about abortion. ‘Opposing abortion, in the eyes of most journalists... is not a legitimate, civilized position in our society,’ Bronner says. Many journalists vigorously deny having this view.”

“Rally for Life” Coverage Evokes an Editor’s Anger (07/03/90)
“The event that triggered Downie’s anger was the [Washington] Post’s coverage of a massive ‘Rally for Life’ April 28 at the Washington Monument. The rally, sponsored by the National Right to Life Committee, was intended as both a demonstration of the strength of the anti- abortion movement and as a response to the enormously successful pro-abortion-rights rally in Washington in April, 1989. Abortion protesters insisted that the Post (and other media) greatly understated the turnout for the rally, but such charges are common when the media cover virtually any political demonstration. Far more important, critics complained — and the Post conceded — the paper vastly underplayed the rally, ‘trivialized’ it, as Harwood later wrote.”

“Abortion Hype” Pervaded Media After Webster Case (07/04/90)
“Last summer, when the U.S. Supreme Court issued its controversial Webster abortion decision, the media responded with a barrage of apocalyptic stories predicting political and legislative revolution. Even before the court ruling — which ultimately gave states greater latitude in regulating abortion — the Boston Globe said in a Page 1 story that ‘a majority of states’ would be expected to ‘ban abortion in all but extreme circumstances’ if the court made such a ruling. ‘No more than five states would retain the liberal guidelines’ existing before the Webster decision, the Globe said. The Globe was not alone in what Colleen O’Connor, director of public education for the American Civil Liberties Union, calls the media ‘hysteria’ that accompanied the Webster decision.”

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

Up to Sources Reference Collections Columnists Series

 Volume 2.17 Front Page December 30, 2002 

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

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