Monthly Archives: January 2017

News Writing by Dummies

Journalistic quandry: You want to call something improper or illegal, but it isn’t. In fact, it is entirely normal. 

The Washington Post put this in my email.


 The article contains this gem:


So, the writer notes that the action is legally defensible. But it raises fresh questions about the president’s commitment to the rule of law.

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Now, I’m no hotshot Washington Post writer, but if something is legal, it really does not raise fresh questions about a commitment to the rule of law. Actually, doing things legally reinforces a commitment to the rule of law.

The crap about the campaign is just unrelated junk. Only the weak-minded and Trump-haters will fall for this.


These headlines raise fresh questions about the Washington Post writers’ ability to tell their asses from their elbows. 


The American people are increasingly walking away from news sources like the Washington Post, exactly because of this nonsense.


Tired of Tears

For those of you who cried when the towers fell, and cried again when it kept happening. Cried for Charlie, cried for Nice. And now you cry for Quebec.

Isn’t it time to figure out a serious plan to stop terrorist events as they happen?

I’m done crying.

In my old church, usually at least three men are carrying under they jackets each Sunday. I don’t know about the ladies, but maybe one or two. We don’t expect anything, but I don’t expect anything would last more than a few seconds.  

Terrorists want to make people afraid and fragile. I think the plan must be to make people fearless and strong. Cowards demand the rest of us become sheep.  

No more sheep. I don’t know the solution, but some of the things we’ve tried have failed. Crying won’t make the terrorists shudder in fear. 



Some words about sheep, the sheepdog and the wolf here.

The Future Location of The Craft Blog Server

Reykjavík, Iceland.  Hallgrímskirkja Church. Pronounced just like it’s spelled.

The server is of course not at the church, but is located in a yurt-shaped kiosk not far from the center of town, near a coffee shop frequented by tall, blonde patrons. Or was it a kiosk-shaped yurt?

Iceland-Hallgrimskirkja-Photo by Gavin Hellier

Photo credits: Mitch Russo, and Gavin Hellier. Find more here.

I Condemn the Guy Who Cut Me Off in Traffic This Morning

…which comes amid heightened tensions worldwide over President Donald Trump’s travel ban on several Muslim countries.


I wanted to write a post about condemning the attack on a Canadian mosque, so I turned to a newspaper for details and quotes.

Chicago Tribune:

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Quebec Premier Philippe Couillard both characterized the attack as a terrorist act, which came amid heightened tensions worldwide over President Donald Trump’s travel ban on several Muslim countries.

Yes. Amid is the new buzzword.  Reporters are also using something like “…the anti-immigrant sentiment swirling around the Trump campaign…” or “with anti-Muslim sentiment being fueled by Trump supporters…” or even “…since the election of President Trump…” 

Donald Trump has said nothing about going out and shooting Muslims — except I’m pretty sure he’s not in favor.  This constant and reflexive connection between Trump and anything to do with Muslims, Hispanics and LGBTQ people is unfair.  

The shooting is terrible, and we don’t yet know the motives. It happened in a completely different country — which has a long history of being quite accepting of immigrants and Muslims. For now, is it asking reporters too much to wait until the identities and motives of the shooters is known?

By the way, Canada’s PM Justin Trudeau has at least been clear-headed enough to call the attack “an act of terror.” The former U.S. president would have waited, just in case it was an act of something else.

For the record. I condemn this act of evil.

Update: I added a few words.

Update #2: New York Times:

Mr. Couillard [Quebec Premier] declined to comment on the possibility that anti-Islamist remarks by Mr. Trump during the presidential campaign had played a role. But he did add: “We live in a world where people tend to divide themselves rather than unite. Our country, Canada and Quebec, has to remain a beacon of tolerance.”

Yeah, he declined to comment, but some reporter asked. Does anybody remember the “let’s burn the mosques and kill the Muslim’s” speech, because I’m drawing a blank.

The authorities initially said that there had been two suspects, but Quebec’s provincial police agency said on Monday that only one man was a suspect and that another man — also arrested Sunday evening — was a witness. Court officials in Quebec identified the two men arrested as Alexandre Bissonnette, 27, and Mohamed el Khadir, who was said to be in his late 20s or early 30s.

I’m not an expert on Canadian law, but let’s assume they don’t arrest innocent witnesses, which would have been a great follow-up question, New York Times… Is there any significance to the fact that one of the young men is named Mohamed? 

I condemn myself for that question, which I typed amid heightened tensions worldwide over President Donald Trump’s travel ban on several Muslim countries.

Wait? Didn’t I Write That Before?

So, earlier today I posted something based upon an article in The Economist. An hour after posting, I caught myself wondering if I’d already written about that article. I had. I gotta get more sleep.

Instead, these excellent blogs might interest the curious reader.