Dipping my toes back in

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A couple of things…

New blog name – If I come up with something better I will change it again.

Comments – For now, they are closed. I see that other bloggers do it, so, yeah, for now…that’s what I’m gonna do.

We’ll see how this goes.

 

The New York Times, Hillary, and Anonymous Sources

NYT Public Editor, August 1, 2015

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A reader responds:

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Not to mention Jeb!’s role in the Florida debacle of 2000.

Public Editor:

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So why just her? Why not the same “blessing” for the others?  Oh, right. The Clinton Rules.

But I really like this comment. It echoes how I read anything that quotes anonymous sources without revealing why anonymity has been granted with a skeptical eye, even (or should I say, especially) when it comes to the New York Times.

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Brushing away the cobwebs

Expect to see a bit of a face-lift, probably a name change, a cleaning up of the side bar, and a reactivation of this blog. Here’s why.
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I’m doing this because, rather than just save items to my “Favorites,” I’d like a more visual aggregate of articles, blog posts, position papers, etc, that I find pertinent and that can be tagged and shared. Of course, I will have something to say as well. I’ll be posting rules of engagement in a few days.

Don’t call deniers “skeptics”.

Originally posted on Science or not?:

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Forty-eight prominent skeptics (real ones!) from the Committee for Skeptical Inquiry have signed a statement calling on the media to stop using the term “skeptic” to describe those who deny scientific reality. The list includes our very own Richard Saunders and Dick Smith as well as such notables as Daniel Dennett, James Randi and Edzard Ernst.

As Fellows of the Committee for Skeptical Inquiry, we are concerned that the words “skeptic” and “denier” have been conflated by the popular media. Proper skepticism promotes scientific inquiry, critical investigation, and the use of reason in examining controversial and extraordinary claims. It is foundational to the scientific method. Denial, on the other hand, is the a priori rejection of ideas without objective consideration.

Read the rest of the statement here: Deniers are not Skeptics.


The Climate Change Denier cartoon is from Cakeburger.

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Charlie Pierce on last night’s election results

He pretty much sums it up. (Emphasis mine)

Let us dispense with some conventional wisdom before it petrifies. First of all, the president’s basic unpopularity was unquestionably a factor, but not anywhere near as much of a factor as was the reluctance of the Democratic party — from the president on down — to embrace the actual successes that the administration has achieved. The economy is, in fact, improving. It is the responsibility of the president and his party that we have the paradoxical polling that indicates that the elements of the Affordable Care Act are popular, while “Obamacare” is not. (Mitch McConnell told a transparent lie that Kentucky could get rid of the ACA and still keep its very popular state exchange. He didn’t suffer at all for that.) The senatorial candidates who lost were senators who ran away from the administration. Alison Lundergan Grimes wouldn’t say if she’d voted for the president. Kay Hagan endorsed the Keystone XL pipeline. Michelle Nunn practically ran as an independent. How much worse could it possibly have been for all of them had they stood by the president and his record? How much worse could it possibly have been for them had the president come to campaign for them?

Second, it was a great night for voter-suppression, which has been central to the Republican response to the fact that the president has been elected twice. Kris Kobach, the architect of the strategy, was re-elected as Secretary of State in Kansas, and Jon Husted won the same office in Ohio, over Democratic candidate Nina Turner, on an election that was a referendum on Husted’s voter-suppression tactics in that state. Thom Tillis, who piloted North Carolina’s incredibly stringent voter-suppression law through the state legislature, is going to the Senate, and Scott Walker, who oversaw the same kind of effort in Wisconsin, is going back to his day job, running the state into the ground and dodging subpoenas, until it’s time for him to run for president. It’s going to take days to sort out the overall effect of these laws on the general electorate, even if anyone cares to do so, which I’ve come to doubt, because the Supreme Court created a new normal when John Roberts gutted the Voting Rights Act and declared the day of jubilee, and the people in the country who are not those inconvenienced by these laws, and who are not those against whose franchise these laws were directly aimed, seem perfectly content with this situation.

Last, and I hate to break this to Tom Brokaw, and to Kasie Hunt, who talked about how the Republicans know they have to “govern,” but this election couldn’t have been less of a repudiation of the Tea Party. As the cable shows signed off last night, it was dawning even on the most conventional pundits that the Republicans had not elected an escadrille of Republican archangels to descend upon Capitol Hill. It was more like a murder of angry crows. Joni Ernst is not a moderate. David Perdue is not a moderate. Thom Tillis is not a moderate. Cory Gardner — who spiced up his victory by calling himself “the tip of the spear” — is not a moderate. Tom Cotton is not a moderate. And these were the people who flipped the Senate to the Republicans. In the reliably Republican states, Ben Sasse in Nebraska is not a moderate.  James Lankford in Oklahoma is not a moderate. He’s a red-haired fanatic who believes that welfare causes school shootings. Several of these people — most notably, Sasse and Ernst — won Republican primaries specifically as Tea Partiers, defeating establishment candidates. The Republicans did not defeat the Tea Party. The Tea Party’s ideas animated what happened on Tuesday night. What the Republicans managed to do was to teach the Tea Party to wear shoes, mind its language, and use the proper knife while amputating the social safety net. They did nothing except send the Tea Party to finishing school.

 

http://www.esquire.com/blogs/politics/Election_Night_2014

Are any of you still out there?

Should I give this blog CPR and bring it back to life? My photoblog is doing well, and I’m hanging out my shingle to make some money from the black box.

But . . .

I may want to mull some things over again. And this feels like the right place to do it. Or maybe I retire this one and start completely fresh.

Those few of you still hanging on, what do you think?

 

Take That Yellow Ribbon Magnet Off Your Bumper

Carissa:

This.

Originally posted on Desert Beacon:

Yellow Ribbon Senator Harry Reid (R-NV) nailed the ginned up controversy about the capture of a Libyan terrorist in this commentary:

“It doesn’t matter what your ideology is, you should feel good about this. There’s no conspiracy here, this is actual news. But the reaction of some of the Republicans, I’ve been told, is to downplay and insult the brave men and women of our special forces and the FBI. They’re trying to say, oh, it’s no big deal. I wonder if the men and women who captured the terrorist agree. But the Republicans said it’s no big deal. Even in these days of polarization, created by the obstruction, the delay, and diversion of the Republicans, even in these days of polarization, their reaction is shocking and disgusting. They’re so obsessed with criticism, criticizing anything President Obama does. They’ll go so far as to sit here and insult the men and women…

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