Bad newspaper writing: NY Times on Texas textbooks

The article headline and first paragraph  tease us: Texas has approved textbooks for use in public school that say negative things about Muslims…

Texas’ State Board of Education has approved new history textbooks, but only after defeating six and seeing a top publisher withdraw a seventh — capping months of outcry over lessons that some academics say exaggerate the influence of Moses in American democracy and negatively portray Muslims.

But then in the article, not a single quote from one of the disputed textbooks, so that the reader could evaluate whether “some academics” (who are not cited) are reasonable or not.  So we should decide: Stop reading the New York Times.

via Texas Approves Disputed History Texts for Schools – NYTimes.com.

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Beautiful words from Michel Kafando new President of Burkina Faso, but they ring hollow

These words sound so true and heartfelt, but they are coming from a man who chose not to go into exile and fight the terrible system he now decries.  Instead, he chose to represent that very same system and regime as ambassador to the United Nations.  And the man he just selected to be Prime Minister, just three weeks ago was the number two man in that terrible system’s presidential guard.  In college we used to call this a “snow job.”

Le message du peuple est clair et nous l’avons entendu. Plus jamais d’injustice, plus jamais de gabegies. Plus jamais de corruption. Tout nous conduit donc à prendre nos responsabilités pour répondre à cet appel.  C’est dire que les actions que nous engageons dès l’entame de notre mandat, seront essentiellement centrées sur ce que nous considérons comme un mandat impératif. Toute ma vie, je me suis toujours fait une idée du respect du bien public, de militer pour l’avènement d’une vraie justice sociale. L’on comprendra pourquoi, avec ceux qui ont méprisé cette justice et qui pensent qu’ils peuvent impunément dilapider les deniers publics, nous règlerons bientôt les comptes.

via Le discours de prise de fonction de Michel Kafando.

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E.C.B. sees significant risk of deflation in eurozone

Mario Draghi, the European Central Bank president, strongly signaled on Friday that he and his colleagues were preparing a new round of powerful monetary stimulus to jolt the flagging eurozone economy at a time when the risk of deflation is growing.  Speaking at a conference in Frankfurt, Mr. Draghi said the central bank would “do what we must to raise inflation and inflation expectations as fast as possible, as our price stability mandate requires of us.”If the bank’s current policy did not end the threat, Mr. Draghi added, “we would step up the pressure and broaden even more the channels through which we intervene, by altering accordingly the size, pace and composition of our purchases… While Mr. Draghi on Friday did not actually say much that was different from previous utterances, there was a significant new emphasis on the risk of deflation in the eurozone.

via Mario Draghi Says E.C.B. Will ‘Do What We Must’ to Stoke Inflation – NYTimes.com.

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Goldman Sachs say: We want to make a lot more money and do not care about the risk to the macroeconomy

A report released this week by the Senate Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations found that banks had built up enormous holdings of commodities and infrastructure that allowed the banks to monitor and influence the price of these materials.One potential danger for banks holding commodities infrastructure, like coal mines, is that the infrastructure could be involved in environmental disasters that would expose the banks to significant legal liability.Mr. Tarullo, the Fed governor who oversees regulatory policies, is expected to testify that “physical commodities activities can pose unique risks to the safety and soundness of financial holding companies.”

via Federal Reserve Set to Propose Stricter Rules for Banks in Commodities Markets – NYTimes.com.

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China lowers interest rates

China’s central bank on Friday announced a surprise cut to interest rates, in the clearest sign yet that policy makers are growing increasingly concerned the country’s economic slowdown.Despite numerous signs that growth has been flagging, China’s leadership for months has refrained from any broad-based economic stimulus measures as policy makers tried to push through a package of ambitious financial overhauls. Instead, they opted for piecemeal efforts like injecting money into big banks.

via China, in Surprise Move to Prop Up Economy, Cuts Interest Rates – NYTimes.com.

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Rapping in Moré from Burkina Faso, Joey Soldat – Burkin Bâ

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Truer words never spoken: Newton Ahmed Barry

In an interview with Radio Omega he tells it like it is.  And he is right.  When the top echelons of Blaise Compaoré’s regime effectuate a palace coup taking advantage of a popular uprising, how likely is it that the longer term will end well?  The new leaders say “Trust us, we are different, we are serious.”  Ironically, that is exactly the line that Blaise had been using fairly successfully for past 16 years.   Meanwhile, the basic foundations of the rule of law are being dismantled, with summary dismissals and dissolution of rural and municipal councils and mayors.  That is being replaced by executive, centralized rule (by Zida!).  The proverb at the end: When the hyena comes to the village and eats the children of the poor, and nobody does anything… soon he will come for the children of the rich.

Radio Oméga : Dites-nous ce que vous pensez du cas de limogeage de l’ancien Directeur général de la SONABEL, de la SONABHY et de l’ancien Directeur générale de la douane Ousmane GUIRO que vous citez dans votre blog?

Newton Ahmed Barry : Je dis simplement que j’ai peur parce que ces attitudes assez spectaculaires dans un état de droit, ça ne marchent pas. Je sais simplement que ça flatte le petit peuple. Certains sont très contents sauf qu’ils oublient que lorsque les choses ne se sont pas passer dans le cadre de l’ordre, ce sont les gens aujourd’hui, des gens qu’on n’aiment pas et vous savez très bien que moi pendant près de 20 ans j’ai combattu ces gens-là, donc je suis très à l’aise pour pouvoir parler avec beaucoup plus de latitude ; donc aujourd’hui si on ne les aime pas et qu’on les jette en pâture demain c’est nous contre que ça va se retourner vous savez le proverbe : si l’hyène vient dans un village, il mange les enfants des pauvres et que les gens ne disent rien, quand il aura fini avec les enfants des pauvres c’est les princes qu’il va attaquer parce que il aura l’habitude de manger la chair fraiche.

via Nomination du Lieutenant-colonel Zida : “On n’a pas été surpris” Newton Ahmed Barry.

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