"Our conscience is not the vessel of eternal verities. It grows with our social life, and a new social condition means a radical change in conscience." —Walter Lippmann, journalist (1889-1974)

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  • 5 hours ago

Does anyone else, when scanning blog headlines, have to check twice whether it says “NASA” or “NSA”?

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  • 3 days ago
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KS secretary of state apparently caved. He’s sending out ballots without a Democratic candidate for Senate.

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  • 3 days ago
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So… Bruce Rauner is part-owner of an NFL team. And it’s NOT THE BEARS!! He’s obviously not qualified to be governor of Illinois!

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  • 5 days ago

“For some time I have been disturbed by the way CIA has been diverted from its original assignment. It has become an operational and at times a policy-making arm of the Government. This has led to trouble and may have compounded our difficulties in several explosive areas. I never had any thought that when I set up the CIA that it would be injected into peacetime cloak and dagger operations. Some of the complications and embarrassment I think we have experienced are in part attributable to the fact that this quiet intelligence arm of the President has been so removed from its intended role that it is being interpreted as a symbol of sinister and mysterious foreign intrigue—and a subject for cold war enemy propaganda. With all the nonsense put out by Communist propaganda about “Yankee imperialism,” “exploitive capitalism,” “war-mongering,” “monopolists,” in their name-calling assault on the West, the last thing we needed was for the CIA to be seized upon as something akin to a subverting influence in the affairs of other people… I, therefore, would like to see the CIA be restored to its original assignment as the intelligence arm of the President, and that whatever else it can properly perform in that special field—and that its operational duties be terminated or properly used elsewhere,” – Harry Truman, December 22, 1963.

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  • 6 days ago

Wonkbook’s Number of the Day: $180. That’s how much the median household income in the United States rose last year, a statistically insignificant gain that explains why so many Americans doubt the economic recovery.

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  • 6 days ago
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—————-> Later this month Main Street Advocacy will launch a Women2Women tour with a town hall targeting women voters in Charlotte. … Abortion rights and a gender gap in voting preferences are not what Sarah Chamberlain, the Women2Women initiative’s leader, plans to talk about. “We’re not here to touch the third rail, and they [the targeted women attendees] know that going in,” she told Roll Call. “We’re not here to talk about the social issues.” In an interview with WBTV, a CBS affiliate in Charlotte, Chamberlain clarified further those issues she says affect women and should motivate them to get out to vote: “The first one is twenty-first century cures, which is trying to get the government out of the way of the scientists, as they begin to find cures for cancer specifically; suntan lotion, trying to improve the quality of suntan lotion so melanoma goes down in this country, so just issues like that.” <——————- Science in the twenty-first century = suntan lotions to cure cancer. Oh, yeah, ‘Pubs. You definitely know what will interest women.

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  • 6 days ago

"David Hughes, a Canadian geologist, studied data from 65,000 U.S. oil and gas well based on hydraulic fracturing. He concluded that production on average drops 50 percent after the first year, and 85 percent in three years. Fracking is an exchange of short-term gains for long-term damage." Is anyone surprised by this last sentence?

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  • 1 week ago

Reading _Philosophy in the Flesh_ by Lakoff and Johnson. Holy creamery cows, I love it. Finally someone is writing a philosophical account that makes complete sense to me. Dm Mmd, I think you would particularly enjoy this book, if you haven’t read it. Dan and Adam, I have no idea what you think of it, but I’d be curious to know. To take an example, the way Dan uses the word “reason” consistently leaves me unsatisfied, or at least unconvinced that we have actually communicated. But in this book, there are demonstrations that the components of what philosophers call reason correspond to real, physical aspects of how the brain works. For example, categorization is usually thought of as a logical process, but in fact, categorization in the brain occurs when information is “passed from one dense ensemble of neurons to another via a relatively sparse set of connections”. This both makes sense, and suggests that we have real, physical limits on the kinds of categories we can conceive of. It also destroys the idea (which never did make sense to me) that categories exist “in reality”. When (and I suppose if) the various components of reason-in-a-philosophical-sense are broken down in similar ways, I think it will be apparent that reason is quite different that the way we imagine it, and its limits can be mapped with a lot more precision than we generally manage.

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  • 1 week ago

————> Dallas police “swarmed” Woodrow Wilson High School on Friday in response to reports that a human fetus was found in a bathroom. The police department investigated the scene, bringing in at least one helicopter and reviewing video footage, and called for help in identifying a “suspect.” A local news outlet reported that police were specifically looking into the “circumstances” of how the pregnancy ended—whether or not the mother miscarried or aborted. “We’re reviewing video, talking to the teachers, trying to determine if anybody has any knowledge of any student that may have had something going on in their life, and pray[ing],” said Dallas Police Major John Lawton. DPD later acknowledged that a woman had miscarried, and that no criminal offense had taken place. By Tuesday, police said they had stopped the investigation and that no charges would be filed. The DPD spent the weekend searching for the woman whose fetus was found.<————— I have NO WORDS. A helicopter? What, did they think they could capture the soul of the fetus, floating in the sky?

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  • 2 weeks ago
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