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cleanhippie

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Member since: Sat Jul 3, 2010, 12:24 PM
Number of posts: 19,705

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Shutdown coverage fails Americans

U.S. news reports are largely blaming the government shutdown on the inability of both political parties to come to terms. It is supposedly the result of a "bitterly divided" Congress that "failed to reach agreement" (Washington Post) or "a bitter budget standoff" left unresolved by "rapid-fire back and forth legislative maneuvers" (New York Times). This sort of false equivalence is not just a failure of journalism. It is also a failure of democracy.

--snip--

The truth of what happened Monday night, as almost all political reporters know full well, is that "Republicans staged a series of last-ditch efforts to use a once-routine budget procedure to force Democrats to abandon their efforts to extend U.S. health insurance." (Thank you, Guardian.) And holding the entire government hostage while demanding the de facto repeal of a president's signature legislation and not even bothering to negotiate is by any reasonable standard an extreme political act. It is an attempt to make an end run around the normal legislative process. There is no historical precedent for it. The last shutdowns, in 1995 and 1996, were not the product of unilateral demands to scrap existing law; they took place during a period of give-and-take budget negotiations.

But the political media's aversion to doing anything that might be seen as taking sides — combined with its obsession with process — led them to actively obscure the truth in their coverage of the votes. If you did not already know what this was all about, reading the news would not help you understand.

--snip--

But the lack of accountability is arguably even worse because it has the characteristics of a cascade failure. When the media coverage seeks down-the-middle neutrality despite one party's outlandish conduct, there are no political consequences for their actions. With no consequences for extremism, politicians who have succeeded using such conduct have an incentive to become even more extreme. The more extreme they get, the further the split-the-difference press has to veer from common sense in order to avoid taking sides. And so on.

http://america.aljazeera.com/articles/2013/10/1/reporting-governmentshutdowndemocracy.html



Study: Holy Water Often Contaminated With Fecal Matter, Bacteria

Beware the holy water. A new study finds it is often contaminated with fecal matter and bacteria.

According to Reuters, Vienna University researchers analyzed the water quality at 21 “holy springs” and 18 fonts at churches and chapels and concluded that people should not be drinking holy water.

“Of the holy springs investigated, only 14% met the microbiological and chemical requirements of national drinking water regulations,” the study states. “Considering results from sanitary inspections of the water catchments, no spring was assessed as a reliable drinking water source.”

Microbiologist Alexander Kirschner said people need to be warned about the dangers of contaminated holy water.

http://washington.cbslocal.com/2013/09/23/study-holy-water-often-contaminated-with-fecal-matter-bacteria/



We already knew that the idea of magical water was full of shit...
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