Month: December 2016

Why Aleppo Is So Important

While the White House and a couple of Senators are loudly Trump-eting about the alleged Russian involvement in an email hack, we’re missing out on a major news story:  The civil war in Syria is all over bar the shouting.  (And inevitable reprisals.)

Don’t mistake me:  The email thing is important.  I believe it will drive our news for much of the next year, and the results could be extremely impressive.  But Aleppo is huge, and (more…)

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That’s “Toupeed Cheeto, Sir”, Dammit!

Today’s New York Daily News featured an article by famously opinionated columnist Shaun King entitled “Here’s Why I Will Never Call Donald Trump ‘Mr. President'”.

In it, he explores Mr. Trump’s character flaws.  He writes with great eloquence about the man’s character, detailing his failings with remarkable fervor.  Much of what he says is (more…)

This Just In: “The Onion” Is Reliable News

Since their recent semi-acquisition by communications giant Univision, “The Onion” has begun putting out some surprisingly reasonable stuff in their Politics section.  The present edition features a useful infographic entitled “How To Stay Politically Active After The Election”, and there’s another interesting piece on Justice Ginsburg’s plans for the winter break.

…OK; I admit it.  My headline is a complete fabrication.  I made it up.  Much like The Onion did this.

This is how clickbait works:  You see something that’s shocking; you say to yourself, “This can’t possibly be true!”  And then you click on it, and someone makes money from their sponsors.

(News alert:  I don’t actually have any sponsors.  Too bad, too; I could use the money.) (more…)

Did Russia Hack The Election?

The Washington Post broke a story on the 9th to the effect that Russia hacked the American presidential elections this year.

As is becoming the new normal in modern journalistic practice, the story has several different headlines, each fine-tuned to appeal to the target audience.  The main print version was released as “Obama Orders Review Of Russian Hacking During Presidential Campaign”, but the regional headlines differ slightly.  The online version was titled the eminently clickable “Secret CIA assessment says Russia was trying to help Trump win White House”. (more…)

Texas — Requires Burial Of Aborted Fetuses?!

New York Times headline:  “Texas Will Require Burial Of Aborted Fetuses”

Well, of course I had to read the story and see what was going on.  This doesn’t sound at all reasonable.  Not even in Texas, the legendary home of the liquor store drive-through, beanless chili, and high school football as a religious faith. (more…)

But What Can I Do?

It used to be that our exposure to the horrible things in the world was limited to the paper in the morning and Uncle Walter’s broadcast in the evening.  Now that we’ve got 24-hour news channels, though, we’re inundated.  Awful things are happening all the time and the whole universe is eager to tell us.  It’s coming from our speakers, our car radio, even social media.  There’s fear and terror and horror everywhere, and there’s no escape. (more…)