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The Weblog at The View from the Core - Friday, October 29, 2004

"The Question"

A poem by Russ Vaughn.

Our favorite Screaming Eagle Poet writes to The Blog from the Core again.

The Question

The question you must ask yourself,
As you head off to your poll,
Is who you trust to lead us now
That survival is our goal.
We tread the path of Jihad's wrath,
Where misstep could spell doom,
And future times of horrid climes
In Holocaust's gray gloom.

What then, again I'll ask of you,
Should be our true agendas?
Privilege and prosperity
Or ways to best defend us?
Affluence won't concern us much,
Other problems will confound us,
When our cities lie in smoking ruins,
With destruction all around us.

What sort of man I ask you now
Do we really want to lead us?
A nuanced pol, who talks and talks,
While Jihadis grimly bleed us?
Or a fighter, who will walk the walk,
Take the battle to them there,
Force their hand and make them stand,
Destroy them in their lair?

This veteran says let's fight them there;
Lure all those fanatic fools
To where they face armed fighting men,
Not children in their schools.
I know how I shall vote this time,
I'll vote to win this war;
Not to let John Kerry lose it,
As he did mine long before.

Russ Vaughn
2d Bn, 327th Parachute Infantry Regiment
101st Airborne Division
Vietnam 65-66

See also these.

Lane Core Jr. CIW P — Fri. 10/29/04 08:28:33 PM
Categorized as Literary & Political.


He's Alive!

I'm surprised.

Apparently, Sheik Osama bin Laden is alive — and channeling Michael Moore:

.... Bin Laden suggested Bush was slow to react to the Sept. 11 attacks, giving the hijackers more time than they expected. At the time of the attacks, the president was listening to schoolchildren in Florida reading a book.
"It never occurred to us that the commander-in-chief of the American armed forces would leave 50,000 of his citizens in the two towers to face these horrors alone," he said, referring to the number of people who worked at the World Trade Center.
"It appeared to him (Bush) that a little girl's talk about her goat and its butting was more important than the planes and their butting of the skyscrapers. That gave us three times the required time to carry out the operations, thank God," he said.
In planning the attacks, bin Laden said he told Mohammed Atta, one of the hijackers, that the strikes had to be carried out "within 20 minutes before Bush and his administration noticed." ....

That, Faithful Reader, does not surprise me at all.

Indeed, seeing as how Fahrenheit 9/11 was reported to be very popular in the Middle East, would it be too much to speculate that bin Laden is, indeed, taking his cues from Michael Moore?

One is tempted to make fun. But I think that would be unwise. It occurs to me that Osama's sudden reappearance may be a signal to his cohorts.

Lane Core Jr. CIW P — Fri. 10/29/04 08:18:31 PM
Categorized as International.


Kedwards vs. Kerry

Democrats in Self-Destruct Mode CCCXCIII

I saw Pat Caddell — who used to be a pollster for Jimmy Carter — on Hannity & Colmes the other night. He said that he couldn't believe the Kerry campaign was jumping on the "missing" Iraqi explosives "story". If I were advising the Kerry campaign, he said (though I don't remember his exact words), I would not be telling them to do this. Though I don't always think Dick Morris is on target, he explains why Caddell said that, at NYP today (ellipses in original).

+ + + + +

Here's a two-part test to determine who will win on Tuesday:

a) Ask yourself: What is the issue we are talking about these days? Are we focused on terrorism and Iraq, or on health care and jobs? The answer is obvious: terrorism and Iraq.

b) Now look at the polls. Not the page that shows who they're voting for. That changes every hour. Look at the page that asks, "Which candidate do you think would do the best job of handling the war in Iraq?"

The answer is always President Bush, usually by 10 points. And right below that, on "Which candidate do you think would do the best job of handling the War on Terror?" Bush leads again, usually by 20 points.

If the issue is terrorism and Iraq, and Bush wins those issues by double digits, then the winner will be... voila, Bush!

John Kerry was on the verge of moving out to a victory after the third debate. Taking advantage of its pre-ordained focus on domestic issues, he had finally, finally swung the debate back to the issues on which he has — and has always had — a lead: domestic policy. Next he got a short-term bounce from Bill Clinton's presence on the campaign trail and seemed on his way to closing the Bush lead.

Then came the "disappearing explosives" story. Kerry's handlers, tacticians to the last, disregarded the needs of basic strategy and hopped on the issue with all four feet, running a TV ad lambasting Bush for losing the weapons after the invasion.

Strategically, this flawed decision assured that the final week of the campaign would focus on the areas of Bush's strength and Kerry's weakness: Iraq and terrorism. Tactically, it tied the electorate's confidence in John Kerry to the mystery of what actually happened in an ammo dump in the desert 18 months ago.

Then it began to explode in Kerry's face. Soon we heard that there were only three tons of explosives... and they weren't there when we occupied the dump... and they were removed by the Russians before we got there... and, perhaps, there are satellite photos to prove it.

All of a sudden, Kerry seems just not ready for prime time.

The backfire is amplified by the involvement of CBS and The New York Times. The plans of "60 Minutes" and Dan Rather to break the story on the Sunday before the election reflect overt partisan bias — an overt conspiracy of these leading outlets to stack the deck in favor of Kerry.

This controversy unraveling in front of us all, replete with conspiracy theories and denouement of media bias, is enough to occupy our attention and rivet our focus as Election Day approaches. It will drive all other stories off the front pages and will make the war in Iraq the key element in the election.

At this writing, the possibility that the alleged al Qaeda tape virtually endorsing Kerry will hit the airwaves makes one even more confident of a Bush victory. A threat to let blood run in the streets of America if Bush wins won't intimidate voters, but rather remind them of the importance of sending a warrior to fight the terrorists — and seal Bush's victory.

+ + + + +

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Now, as I understand things today, there's still a great deal of confusion about what happened to the "missing" explosives. It may very well be that they were there when our forces reached al-Qaqqa. Or, maybe not. And the Russians got them out. Or maybe not. Whatever.

Still, it was a strategic blunder for Kedwards to take the focus away from where they could claim (emphasis on claim) some strength — domestic policy — and put it where Bush's real strength lies.

Lane Core Jr. CIW P — Fri. 10/29/04 06:25:34 PM
Categorized as Democrats in Self-Destruct Mode.


To All Politicians

A hearty welcome to the 21st century.


That would be Core's Law of New Media — There Is No Such Thing As Local News Anymore: In the Internet Age, anything anybody has said anywhere, anytime, can sooner or later become known everywhere else — in action.

(Thanks, Jon.)

Lane Core Jr. CIW P — Fri. 10/29/04 05:51:27 PM
Categorized as Political.


"The Power of the Will"

VDH writes at NRO today:

.... Because of our astounding weaponry and superb military, the terrorists in Fallujah count on the help of such postmodern Western guilt and internecine blame to supply constraints on the American military every bit as effective as the old Soviet nuclear deterrent. Again, a Michael Moore — or so they believe — is worth an entire jihadist cell. Our parents were terrified that, should America resort to military force abroad, they would be nuked; we are even more scared that our lethality will earn us the parlor disdain of the French and Germans. The terrorists are assured that the Western press is obsessed with Abu Ghraib, but not at all with Saddam's necropolis or their own slaughter of innocents. They suspect that those who endured Omaha and Utah or scaled Suribachi are long sleeping in their graves, and that a few thousand creeps in Fallujah scare us more than a quarter million in the Bulge did our parents.
So yes, it is a strange war. Jihadists are amused that a few American soldiers, worried over their safety, can refuse orders, call 7,000 miles home in anguish, and expect that their complaints, handed over by Mom to the local TV station, will turn up on national cable news before their own commanders in the field even know what is up. A teenaged terrorist with a RPG, being filmed as he is killed, is every bit as an effective soldier through his globally broadcast death than had he lived on to hit his target Humvee with his rocket in the first place. We don't ask, "Which school-builder or power-restorer was he trying to obliterate?" but rather "Why did we have to kill him?"
When the Islamists behead a tearful Englishman or American, it is more likely that his surviving dad or sibling back home will be on television all over the Middle East within minutes damning Tony Blair or George Bush, without a word of censure for the Dark-Age head-loppers. After all, we are not Nepalese who storm the local mosque and put the fear of God into Islamists when they butcher our own. We are more likely to be frightened, turn on ourselves, and condemn some American somewhere who cannot stop "this."
But cannot our self-induced forbearance vanish as soon as we decide enough is enough? Should the American government ignore the EU hysteria, tell Kofi Annan to worry about his son's crooked shenanigans and not Americans' killing terrorists, and simply take Fallujah — as part of a larger effort to correct the laxity of the past and finish the war — then we would surely win. The fallout would be as salutary as our present restraint is disastrous. Like the murderous Pakistani madrassa zealots who flocked to Tora Bora only to be incinerated, Fallujah would not stand as a mecca for the jihadists, but an Armageddon better to watch on television than die in....

Lane Core Jr. CIW P — Fri. 10/29/04 05:42:12 PM
Categorized as International & Political.


"Pre-Election Anxiety Disorder: Old Abe's Cure"


Lane Core Jr. CIW P — Fri. 10/29/04 07:35:53 AM
Categorized as Political.


Stress Test

How timely.

I got this in an e-mail yesterday:

Not sure exactly how this works, but it is amazingly accurate.
Read the full description before looking at the picture below.
The following photo has 2 identical dolphins in it. It was used in a case study on stress level at St. Mary's Hospital. Look at both dolphins jumping out of the water. The dolphins are identical.
A closely monitored, scientific study of a group revealed that in spite of the fact that the dolphins are identical, a person under stress would find differences in the two dolphins. If there are many differences found between both dolphins, it means that the person is experiencing a high level of stress.
Look at the photograph. If you find more than one or two differences, you badly need a vacation.





Stress Test: Identical Dolphins!
Stress Test: Identical Dolphins!

Lane Core Jr. CIW P — Fri. 10/29/04 07:28:59 AM
Categorized as Other.


"A Time for Counting"

A poem by John Hearn, inspired by Autumnal Miniatures.

A Time for Counting

Aged by the swift season of the sun,
I see the children of April,
Brown and crimson in the North wind,
Casting hopeful seeds
To chance winter beds.

Autumn is a time for counting,
For thinking of what use the
Warm days were put,
While evening silhouettes
The stark loveliness of naked trees,
And Orion shoulders the weight of winter.

See also these.

Lane Core Jr. CIW P — Fri. 10/29/04 07:08:28 AM
Categorized as Literary.


Re: Something Wicked This Way Comes

A reader writes:

I agree with you and cannot believe that we have come to this pass in our beloved country. When asked if there would be violence after the election, Elizabeth Edwards answered, "Not if we win." How come the news media did not go ballistic at this threat?
That nearly half the electorate is willing to vote for a traitor to our country, a man who suddenly talks religion with a "wink, wink" to his partisans, a man who chose as his running mate an ambulance chaser — Edwards sued a vaccine maker and dares to blame Bush for the shortage of flu vaccine.
That we have gone from acknowledging that homosexuals should not be persecuted to homosexual marriage in about two weeks time tells you something sick about our prevailing culture — if the offerings of TV shows did not already do that.
Finally, most of our free press is owned and operated by people who hate all that our country is and stands for; now they openly shill for Kerry and create bogus news stories to sway the electorate.
We are in serious trouble when an honorable and brilliant man, Alan Keyes, is derided as a lunatic and/or "would-be-Pope" by the Illinois press for arguing that we are making moral choices when we vote.

Lane Core Jr. CIW P — Fri. 10/29/04 07:01:19 AM
Categorized as Political.


Election Day Novena VI

Almighty God, all things are in your hands: our nation, our communities, our families, our lives.

In this time of great decision, bless our country and its people. Prosper the efforts of the just and true, and thwart the purposes of the unjust and dishonest. Preserve our land from violence and turmoil, and keep our relationships decent and respectful.

Inspire voters, legislators, executives, and judges so our country may be a land where morality is furthered by law and authority; where life is protected, marriage is respected, and family is supported; where the innocent are spared, and the guilty are punished; where justice is tempered by mercy, and mercy fortified by justice.

Help us to keep the United States of America a land where the rule of law and respect for individual dignity are the legal foundation of a just order.


The ubiquitous Earl Appleby has added his own petition:

And, dear Lord, we pray that in the next presidential election we might have a candidate whom we could support wholeheartedly, without moral or mental reservation, rather than one whom we feel duty bound to vote against in defense of every scrap of moral decency that yet remains in our once Christian nation.

Quenta Nârwenion is also blogging the novena.

The Curt Jester has been blogging additional prayers for the novena.

Another novena continues at Knitting a Conundrum.

.... St. Thomas More,
adorer of Christ's Passion,
who put prayer before all else,
devoted husband and father,
defender of the Church,
perfect model of friendship,
impervious to all bribery,
committed to the common good,
who reverenced civil and Divine law,
civil judge of unimpeachable integrity,
patron of those who hold public office,
pray for us now
at this critical time of election,
where so much is at stake,
where the lives of the unborn
and those most vulnerable
hang in the balance,
where the lives of the downtrodden
and defenseless against the terrorist
are most at risk.
Pray for us, St. Thomas More,
martyr for the truth,
that with this election,
we may draw ever closer
to the way God would have our country governed....

And Veritas has also blogged the novena.

Lane Core Jr. CIW P — Fri. 10/29/04 06:52:48 AM
Categorized as Religious.


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The View from the Core, and all original material, © 2002-2004 E. L. Core. All rights reserved.

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