Back to School Open Thread

Victorian posy of pansiesWinter break this year was very pleasant.  As I may have written before, while I’m not a big fan of small children, I really like teenagers, especially the teenagers my kids bring home.  We live in a tight-knit community and my house is often a gathering spot for the kids in the neighborhood.  When our pool is non-operational (as it is every winter), the kids swarm my living room for old-fashioned parlor games and new-fangled board games.  (My favorites are Telestrations, the Telephone Game Sketched Out!, The Resistance, and Quelf Board Game, all of which make me laugh.)  Nicely, the kids always ask me to play, and genuinely seem to want my participation.  Playing board games turns out to be one of the few things I’d rather do than blog.

Still, the kids are back in school, and Mr. Bookworm is almost back at work, so the house is almost back to me.  Since I’m a person who enjoys solitude, despite being quite gregarious, I can’t wait until it’s just me and the dogs (and the computer, of course).  When I’m alone, I can think.  I haven’t had any thoughts yet, but I’ve saved up other people’s thoughts for you:

The DiploMad is just like me, only smarter, more articulate, and with more real world experience.  But other than that, I would have written this post about the state of the world as we enter 2014.  (Hat tip:  Tom Elia.)

Mike McDaniel is always kind enough to say that I gave him the idea for a post.  Reading his post about non-falsifiable and infallible theories (such as guns and global warming), it’s quite clear that he didn’t need me.  He’s brilliant enough on his own.

Speaking of non-falsifiable theories, fellow Watcher’s Council member Simply Jews has a scathing indictment about the BBC’s approach to reporting on climate change — and even located its Ground Zero for scientific ignorance.

Those Americans who still think feminism is about equal pay for equal work need to understand that, nowadays, it’s about postcolonial milk.  This is the horror that academia has wrought on a legitimate demand, one stretching back centuries, that women not be denied education and opportunities on the sole ground that they are women.

I’m beginning to understand Obama’s approach to Obamacare.  Because it bears his name, it’s his law, and he can therefore do whatever the heck he wants with it.  Constitutional rules about the separation of powers — especially lawmaking versus executive — are for the little people.  A man of Roman columns and control over the oceans is not (in his own mind at least) a little person.  (I bet if you ask him, he explain that he brought about the polar vortex to impress upon Americans that global warming means climate change that freezes 90% of the U.S.)

If Pope Francis doesn’t make Asa Bibi a worldwide cause célèbre, he may well be the Leftist shill the Leftist shills think he is.

I may not be financially savvy, but when I’ve seen articles about Obama policies once again forcing banks to make bad loans so that poor risk people can buy real estate, I think “Hey, we’re heading for another housing market crash.”  I’m not the only one thinking that.  Add to that the Feds’ money printing, which has created a stock market bubble based not on value but on paper money, and I foresee a recession that will make 2008 look cute by comparison.

The War on Poverty is over . . . and poverty won.  This fifty year failure is an indictment of government market management, but nobody’s paying attention.

Okay, I’ve now depressed myself.  I’m going to walk the dogs.

 

BBC goes the extra mile to pretend that Islam had nothing to do with yesterday’s murder spree in Kenya

We know the facts:  Gunmen invaded a mall in Nairobi, Kenya, that is primarily frequented by Westerners.  By the end of the attack, at least 39 people had been murdered and 150 injured.  There may still be hostages.  An African Muslim group called Al-Shabaab announced soon after the attack that this was intended to be a targeted attack against non-Muslims.  Lest anyone be unclear about this concept, it spelled it out:  “Only Kuffar were singled out for this attack. All Muslims inside #Westgate were escorted out by the Mujahideen before beginning the attack.”

Funnily enough, the BBC, which still clings to its reputation as a news service, failed to get Al-Shabaab’s memorandum.  When the inimitable Zombie went to check out the BBC’s coverage, the BBC turned out to have tuned out Islam from its reporting:

The BBC’s lead story this afternoon was almost a study in journalistic malfeasance: an archetypal example of how left-leaning Western journalists will violate their own consciences — and the basic principles of reporting — in their relentless quest to hide the truth.

 Such bias happens every day, and complaints about it happen just as often, but the sheer volume and speed of partisan reporting makes it difficult to highlight a single example. Even so, let’s pause for just a moment and dissect this typical specimen of ideological media spin.

The article under discussion can be found here — at least for now. Since media outlets often delete articles which they later find embarrassing, I can’t guarantee it will be online forever, so to preserve the evidence I took a screenshot, which you can see here.

[snip]

Right off the bat, even in the headline itself, the BBC commits a litany of egregious and inexcusable journalistic errors.

The first and most obvious blunder is the missing subject. Who did what? Well, according the the BBC, an entity called a “shoot-out” committed mass murder in Nairobi. Note how there are no human actors in the headline. It wasn’t people who killed 11, it was an inanimate and leaderless “shoot-out” that killed 11.

This is a basic grammatical snafu which even freshmen journalism students quickly learn to avoid. But not the BBC, apparently.

On a second, more subtle, level, use of the word “shoot-out” implies that there were two equal combatants involved, and that therefore blame can be spread around to everyone. But as we know, it wasn’t at first a “shoot-out” — it was a group of terrorists massacring unarmed non-Muslims. (Only much later, after police arrived, did it devolve into a shoot-out.)

Since the BBC has been one of the world’s leading media outlets for nearly a century, and in previous generations set the global standard for news-writing guidelines, they have absolutely no excuse for writing a headline like that — they can’t claim “We’re new at this kind of thing” or “We’re just bloggers — cut us some slack.” No. The BBC literally wrote the book on how to write proper headlines. And if they write a poor headline like this, it must be on purpose.

I urge you to read Zombie’s entire post, just so you know how the Left lies to people.

To appreciate the scope of its egregiously misleading excuse for journalism, imagine if, when Hitler’s troops invaded Poland, jump-starting WWII, the BBC headline had been “Scattered German Troops Engage Some Polish Citizens In Battle.”