The Big Think

January 31, 2014

CNN’s Jake Tapper: Don’t Just Trust the Government, Demand Proof

Filed under: Politics — jasony @ 11:36 am

The Atlantic:

“There have been many benefits to Snowden’s leaks. It is conceivable that they’ve imposed significant costs on America too, but asserting that to be so is insufficient. Evidence is needed, because that’s how a reality-driven society works, and also because of the many instances that the government has wildly exaggerated the harm done by that which embarrasses the people in charge of running it…

Recall that the Pentagon Papers, the Abu Ghraib photos, the waterboarding revelations, the reports about warrantees wiretapping in the Bush years, and the WikiLeaks trove of documents were all alleged to have done grave damage to America. The harms were overblown in every case. If the U.S. government ever deserved the benefit of the doubt from its citizens, it long ago squandered that privilege. Like the boy who cried wolf, it now needs to offer proof. “

I predict this New Journalistic Ideal will become common practice around January 17, 2017 at the very earliest.

Somebody Else’s Fault

Filed under: Politics — jasony @ 8:53 am

Pelosi acts as if she is powerless on ‘Daily Show’:

“Judging from her interview on ‘The Daily Show’ Thursday, you wouldn’t be able to tell that Nancy Pelosi is one of the most powerful figures in Washington.

Throughout her discussion with Jon Stewart, the House minority leader passed the buck for the government’s failures and acted as if she is completely removed from any position of responsibility.

‘I don’t know,’ Pelosi said when asked by Stewart why it was so hard for the government to ‘get a company to execute’ something like building HealthCare.Gov ‘competently?’

‘Well, let me get the House minority leader here, I can ask her, hold on,’ Stewart said through laughter, mocking her answer. ‘Wait. What do you mean you don’t know? How do you not know?’

‘It’s not my responsibility,’ Pelosi said.

Pressed on bureaucratic problems at the Veterans Administration, Pelosi said the failures were ‘horrible.’

‘Seems insane,’ Stewart retorted.

‘It’s stunning but do something about it,’ Pelosi said, as if she was powerless in the matter.

‘I was going to say that to you. I was actually going to say that to you,’ Stewart responded, seemingly suggesting that the House minority leader might have some power to ‘do something about it’ herself.”

Correct me if I’m wrong, but didn’t her party have an unassailable majority of the Govt. a few years ago? Doesn’t it have 2/3rds now?

If they can’t show that their agenda is viable when in near-total (or total) control, then maybe that says something about their agenda, right?

Come With Me and You’ll Be in a World of…. Nevermind

Filed under: Humor and Fun — jasony @ 8:49 am

Child-Safety Experts Call For Restrictions On Childhood Imagination:

“‘Defuse the ticking time-bomb known as your child’s imagination before it explodes and destroys her completely,’ said child-safety expert Kenneth McMillan, who advised the HHS in composing the guidelines. ‘New data shows a disturbing correlation between serious accidents and the ability of children to envision a world full of exciting possibility.’

The guidelines, titled ‘Boundless Imagination, Boundless Hazards: Ways To Keep Your Kids Safe From A World Of Wonder,’ are posted on the HHS website, and will also be available in brochure form in pediatricians’ offices across the country.

According to McMillan, children can suffer broken bones, head trauma, and even fatal injuries from unsupervised exposure to childlike awe. ‘If your children are allowed to unlock their imaginations, anything from a backyard swing set to a child’s own bedroom can be transformed into a dangerous undersea castle or dragon’s lair,’ McMillan said. ‘But by encouraging your kids to think linearly and literally, and constantly reminding them they can never be anything but human children with no extraordinary characteristics, you can better ensure that they will lead prolonged lives.'”

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