September 23, 2016

NY Times Headline, Seven Months Late: Venezuela ‘Buying U.S. Oil’

The absurd headline at a September 20 story at the New York Times is a sight to behold: “How Bad Off Is Oil-Rich Venezuela? It’s Buying U.S. Oil.”

As formulated, the headline is clearly meant to communicate something that is supposedly a surprising new development in that country, which, thanks to 17 years of Bolivarian socialist rule, has turned into a financially destitute humanitarian disaster area. But then, deep into the story, readers finally learn that “Early this year, the United States began shipping more than 50,000 barrels a day of the light crude that Venezuela needs to prepare its own oil for export, joining a handful of suppliers that have become vital to keeping the country’s oil industry afloat.” In other words, this is only big news to Times readers because the Old Gray Lady didn’t think it was worth reporting when it began happening.

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Friday Off-Topic (Moderated) Open Thread (092316)

Filed under: Lucid Links — Tom @ 9:30 am

This open thread is meant for commenters to post on items either briefly noted below (if any) or otherwise not covered at this blog. Rules are here.

Positivity: Religious Christmas carols to be allowed in veterans’ hospitals

Filed under: Positivity — Tom @ 9:25 am

From Washington:

Sep 23, 2016 / 06:56 am

New clarifications about Department of Veterans Affairs rules have resolved a dispute about religious Christmas carols, gifts and displays in veterans’ hospitals, a chaplains’ group has said.

“No one should try to water down Christmas for our veterans just because they object to any religious references or items. I am most grateful that the VA has clarified their policy prior to the upcoming holidays,” Chaplain Ron Crews, a retired Army Reserve colonel, said Sept. 21.

The chaplain is executive director of Chaplain Alliance for Religious Liberty, a group of Protestant Christian organizations and ministries that provide over 2,600 chaplains for the U.S. military.

“This should make clear that churches may sing Christmas carols and distribute Christmas cards at VA hospitals,” Chaplain Crews continued. “The guidelines state that hospital administrators may allow this and provide reasonable guidance as to where displays may be set up and where and how long a church choir may sing.”

He said the new policy “should put a stop to those organizations that complain without basis about any mention of faith in VA facilities.”

The Veterans Affairs department had attracted controversy for some hospital policies applied at Christmastime. …

Go here for the rest of the story.