October 31, 2004
More on the bin Laden video
Posted by Jon Sanders at 9:13 PM
The Middle East Media Research Institute (MEMRI) is reporting that the bin Laden video was mistranslated, and that Osama's attempt at influencing the U.S. vote was significantly greater than reported. Specifically (emphasis added):
The tape of Osama bin Laden that was aired on Al-Jazeera on Friday, October 29th included a specific threat to "each U.S. state," designed to influence the outcome of the upcoming election against George W. Bush. The U.S. media in general mistranslated the words "ay wilaya" (which means "each U.S. state") to mean a "country" or "nation" other than the U.S., while in fact the threat was directed specifically at each individual U.S. state. This suggests some knowledge by bin Laden of the U.S. electoral college system. In a section of his speech in which he harshly criticized George W. Bush, bin Laden stated: "Any U.S. state that does not toy with our security automatically guarantees its own security."
The Islamist website Al-Qal'a explained what this sentence meant: "This message was a warning to every U.S. state separately. When he [Osama Bin Laden] said, 'Every state will be determining its own security, and will be responsible for its choice,' it means that any U.S. state that will choose to vote for the white thug Bush as president has chosen to fight us, and we will consider it our enemy, and any state that will vote against Bush has chosen to make peace with us, and we will not characterize it as an enemy. By this characterization, Sheikh Osama wants to drive a wedge in the American body, to weaken it, and he wants to divide the American people itself between enemies of Islam and the Muslims, and those who fight for us, so that he doesn't treat all American people as if they're the same. This letter will have great implications inside the American society, part of which are connected to the American elections, and part of which are connected to what will come after the elections.""
MEMRI also comments on an aspect of bin Laden's remarks that I noted:
Another conspicuous aspect of the tape is the absence of common Islamist themes that are relevant to the month of Ramadan, which for fundamentalists like bin Laden is the month of Jihad and martyrdom. Noticeably absent from the Al-Jazeera tape was his usual appearance with a weapon, and more importantly the absence of references to Jihad, martyrdom, the Koran, the Hadith (Islamic tradition), Crusaders, Jews, and the legacy of the Prophet Muhammad on the duty to wage Jihad against the infidels. For the followers of the Al-Qa'ida ideology, this speech sends a regressive and defeatist message of surrender, as seen in the move from solely using Jihad warfare to a mixed strategy of threats combined with truce offers and election deals.
The real presidential debate
Posted by Jon Sanders at 7:00 PM
No, it's not the Justin and Britney post-break up dance off. This is the real stuff!
Be sure to check "Money Talk" under Bush. And be sure to vote and see the surprising winner so far.
Celebrating our own way
Posted by Hal Young at 4:47 PMTom Morton, writing in the Casper WY Star-Tribune today (Casper! Yes, really!), turns a neat phrase in his headline, "Begone ghosts -- here's something really powerful"
Ghosts, witches, slasher-movie mass murderers, vampires, and other Halloween freaks can't hold a flickering jack-o'-lantern to the power of the paper Martin Luther nailed to the Wittenberg church door.
So while others fret over high sucrose loading among the younger set, we'll be enjoying our annual October 31 celebration -- bratwurst and sauerkraut with my favorite movie, (what else?) the old B&W classic, Martin Luther.
Just a little political sign of the times
Posted by John Hood at 1:07 PM
For “Locker Room” readers who aren’t familiar with the immediate surroundings of the John Locke Foundation in downtown Raleigh, our offices are across Hilsborough Street from a Catholic Church. On Sundays, our parking lot is partially or fully taken over by worshippers.
As I am working today (Sunday), my car is parked next to many such worshippers. When I went out to get some lunch, I noticed two different items stuck underneath my wiper blades. Both are from National Right to Life. One is a handbill featuring a large picture of an infant and the words, “The little guy wants you to vote for president Bush and a Pro-Life Congress,” and goes onto tell the reader that John Kerry voted against a partial-birth abortion ban six times. Other differences between the two candidates are detailed.
The other item is a smaller, less colorful item listing all of the statewide and legislature candidates endorsed by the North Carolina PAC for Right to Life. For the Senate, the only endorsements clearly not for Republicans were in District 1 (both Marc Basnight and Ron Tippin endorsed), District 27 (both candidates endorsed), and, significantly, District 22, where Democratic Oscar Harris got the nod over incumbent Republican Harris Blake. In the House, the only non-Republican endorsement was Democratic incumbent Jim Crawford in District 32.
Talk about your GOTV efforts.
Effectively skewing the political debate
Posted by John Hood at 08:59 AM
Ah, news-media objectivity, my old friend:
Republican challenger Daniel Beall will try for a second time to unseat one of the most effective legislators in the General Assembly.
This is the lede in a Washington Daily News article about Beall’s challenge to Democratic Rep. Bill Culpepper, whose “effectiveness” is supposed to be up to the voters to decide.
The Mayberry Mandate
Posted by John Hood at 08:04 AM
Patrick Ballantine has a response for the not-so-surprising wave of TV ads featuring Andy Griffith endorsing Mike Easley:
“Andy Griffith is a liberal actor who played a conservative sheriff on TV,” Ballantine said, adding that Griffith's TV alter ego, Sheriff Andy Taylor, would vote Republican.
Otis the town drunk, he said, would vote for Easley.
So, would that give the tie-breaking vote to Goober, Barney, or Floyd? My guess is that Goober goes for Easley (NASCAR, woodworking, and all that). Barney is a Ballantine man, I’m betting, because both are underdogs and for reasons best left to one’s expansive imagination. That leaves the central character on the show, as far as I am concerned: Floyd the barber.
I see him, if he remembers to amble down to the polling place at all, casting a vote for Barbara Howe. The reason? Among others, Floyd would very much enjoy saying “Governor? How?” and “How, Governor Howe” and other plays on words. He’s a real cut-up.
The Washington Post’s good idea
Posted by John Hood at 07:51 AM
The Washington Post had a good idea for its Sunday Outlook section on election eve: ask two good writers to speculate about the priorities of a new Kerry administration or reelected Bush administration. Here’s the Bush piece, written by our friend Ramesh Ponnuru at National Review, and the Kerry piece, written by attorney and former Democratic speechwriter Michael Waldman.
October surprise: IRS working to keep God from interfering in American elections
Posted by Hal Young at 06:26 AM
The first article of the Bill of Rights reads, "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof".
Note that the Internal Revenue Service, however, is not Congress.
Not only are a number of churches under investigation for allegedly giving too-specific advice to their members this election, but The Philadelphia Inquirer"reports that "the IRS warned clergy yesterday that if they asked God to grant Bush four more years as president during their services, they were risking their tax-exempt status."
There are several things here worth praying over this morning. But you may want to do it silently.
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