- The Washington Times - Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Nuclear diction

“North Korea’s state-run news service announced the successful detonation of a nuclear weapon on Sunday. ‘The nuclear test was conducted with indigenous wisdom and technology 100 percent,’ said the Korean Central News Agency. Last week, the KCNA delivered another oddly worded statement, criticizing Japan for its ‘extra-large crimes of human rights abuses.’ Where’d they get that quirky diction?

“It’s homegrown. For the most part, North Korean government officials learn English without ever leaving the country. The political elite study at the language program of Kim Il-sung University, while most working-level diplomats train at the Pyongyang University of Foreign Studies. … There are very few English-language books around, and students are often forced to study from volumes of sayings by Kim Il-sung that have been translated into English. …

“Despite its peculiarity, the agency provides the West with an important source of information on Kim Jong-il’s regime. … As a rule of thumb, it’s more likely that the North Koreans mean business when they tone down the name-calling.”

— Daniel Engber, writing on “Kim Jong-il Says the Darnedest Things,” Monday in Slate at www.slate.com

Brainwashed?

“Parents have just sent their kids off to college, full of hope that the knowledge and enlightenment they acquire will prepare them for the rigors of the modern economy. But a worrying possibility is keeping some of these parents — especially the conservative ones — up at night: the prospect that their children will be hopelessly corrupted by the faculty. …

“Most studies of the subject have indicated that, indeed, upward of 90 percent of college professors at many universities hold liberal political views. In some schools and departments, faculties are virtually 100 percent left-wing. … Imagine a student with God-fearing Republican parents exposed to the depredations of an English professor aiming to use his class as a Bolshevik training camp. Will the professor succeed in turning the kid into a Red? The evidence says, probably not: When it comes to politics, people from conservative families follow their parents, not their professors. …

“Obviously, some kids turn left in college — but this appears to be the exception, not the rule. …

“To fearful Republican parents, then: Sleep tight. When it comes to politics, your kids are in good hands — yours.

— Arthur C. Brooks, writing on “All in the Family,” Sunday in Opinion Journal at www.opinionjournal.com

‘Giant’ success

” ‘Facing the Giants’ might not be a good movie in the traditional sense, but considering its tiny $100,000 budget, it could be an important one. The church-produced film, created by and starring Sherwood Baptist Church associate pastor Alex Kendrick, depicts a hard-luck high-school football team in Georgia coached by a man squeezed by pressures at home and at work. …

“As a device to present a Gospel message on the big screen, ‘Facing the Giants’ succeeds. …

“The team needs several miracles even to make it to the championship game. Once in the championship, miracles … help the team face its fierce opponents, the Giants.

“If it seems unlikely, that’s just the point. This football fairy tale makes no sense apart from God. And that’s a point even cynical Christians must concede: With God, all things are possible.”

— John Dawson, writing on “Miracle season,” in the Oct. 14 issue of World magazine

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