Wednesday, May 02, 2012

War on birds!

Not content with his War On Christmas and Stealth Assault On The Second Amendment, the feckless Kenyan Muslim socialist is going after the weakest and most defenseless among us -- our sparrows!

At least, that's how the War on Birds is reaching the public agenda over at The Fox Nation ("for those opposed to intolerance, excessive government control of our lives, and attempts to monopolize opinion"). Its source is the Washington Free Beacon ("dedicated to uncovering the stories that the professional left hopes will never see the light of day"):

Bird enthusiasts are calling on the Obama administration to cease its devastating war on birds and reverse an obscure mining rule killing possibly a million or more birds a year.

The soul of the inverted pyramid, right? Broad summary in the lede, followed by support below? Meaning the next things we should learn are which "bird enthusiasts" are involved, how their call is expressed, and how the "war on birds" belongs to the Obama administration. Keep your eye on the pivot foot as we move through the next few grafs:

A Bureau of Land Management rule requiring operators to mark their mining claims with tall, white PVC pipes is responsible for significant bird mortality and decreases in populations, the American Bird Conservancy says.

Remember, the initial stuff has to be true for the subsequent stuff to be (contextually) true:

The American Bird Conservancy website reports:
Small birds apparently see the opening of PVC pipes used to mark mining claims as a hollow suitable for roosting or nesting or possibly gathering to pool body heat during migration....

“This is a very significant bird mortality threat, likely accounting for a million or more bird deaths each year,” said Darin Schroeder, Vice President for Conservation Advocacy for ABC.

The website quotes are perfectly accurate (and the Free Beacon conveniently provides a link). The trouble is that they don't support the lede. To hear the Bird Conservancy tell it, the Bureau of Land Management (which the hed translates as "Obama") is actually leading the war on PVC:

The Bureau of Land Management (BLM), the U.S.D.A. Forest Service (FS), and American Bird Conservancy (ABC) have begun identifying and implementing solutions to solve a widespread and potentially enormous bird mortality threat that is associated with 3.4 million mining claims on public lands, mainly in the West.

Indeed, extrapolating from the chronology offered by the birdinators, Obama has apparently been battling the PVC menace since his early days as a little socialist in Saul Alinsky's rec room. California doesn't allow open-topped pipes as claim stakes; Nevada has banned them since 1993. But caps fall off, and people don't get the message, and stuff gets ignored, so the BLM is apparently trying to see what it can do to address the problem on the roughly, um, 3.88 million claims on the land it notionally controls.

Playing around amid the various links on a story like this is kind of fun. It's one thing to know "stake a claim" as a figure of speech and another to get a glimpse at the procedural rules involved in staking a claim. But it's even more fun to notice how quickly the entire story -- all five grafs of it -- is laid bare as rank fiction. There is no "war on birds." There is no "obscure mining rule" requiring open PVC tubes at mining claims. Had there ever been one, it probably would have predated PVC; hell, Nevada would have been unspoiled enough that the ivory-billed woodpecker could have taken the wife and kids there on vacation.
And whatever else the Chicago punk pantywaist thug ivory-tower idiot Communist Nazi might have done, it's going to be a bit of a struggle pinning this one on him.

The most fun of all, though, is the chutzpah -- the charge-for-the-guns testiculosity involved in flat-out cold lying, then linking to the documents that show beyond doubt that you're making it up as you go along. One could note, for example, how often the Free Beacon's editor-in-chief has appeared on NPR as a representative of something that might be thought of as "journalism." From that, one could draw conclusions about the state of biases in the media today.  

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7:12 AM, May 04, 2012  

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