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There was a very kind and reasonable diary about Keith Ledgerwood's theory about flight 370 that went viral the other day. There have also been some funny shots at some of the terrible reporting that has done nothing but fuel speculation and suggest supernatural explanations. I think most sober minded people have thrown up their hands and decided that all we can do is wait until the plan is found, and that there is nothing else to be done.

I think this is a terrible mistake. The last two weeks have exposed terrible failures by governments, industry and the press. The active part of our citizenry should not simply accept this. Public attention, and even some wild speculation can apply pressure to news agency, and indirectly to industry and governments. With luck, this pressure can help expose these failures, suggest what is being done to correct them, and in the short term, encourage a responsible conclusion to the search.

I commend dailykos for resisting and shutting down wild conspiracy theories. However, it is astonishing to me that no one is acknowledging that the evidence that has come out since Mr Ledgerwood posted his blog, actually supports pats of his theory. (look up the coordinates of KLM flight 836 at 5:11 AM and compare them to the 5:11 "arc" generated by the Inmarsat satellite). If this possiblity genuinely been eliminated with evidence, that should be made public.

Forget trying to understand the motives involved. The facts as we know are at least as supportive of the idea that the plane continued northward as they are that it made a sudden and dramatic turn towards the south pole. I think it is fine that people ask for more transparency about how and why the focus has become the southern route. Given the spectacular failure of governments over the past two weeks, it would be good to make them prove that they have not been subject to the same sloppy thinking and selection bias to which overenthusiastic conspiracy theorists can fall victim.

So while I think it is right to make fun of Don Lemon for suggesting the disappearance of MH370 was a supernatural event, I don't think we should simply tune out and not demand better.

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Thu Nov 08, 2012 at 05:13 PM PST

New meme

by johninexile

As we await the arrival of a promising new congressional class let's make sure we support the democrats as the try to take advantage of the pressure that the "fiscal cliff" is putting on republicans. As Boehner, Cantor and McConnell prattle on about protecting job creators from tax hikes I think we should point out that they are really asking to extend a Bush era Tax Holiday! It's up to us to make sure it joins the list of holiday's that will have passed come January. End the tax holiday for the wealthy!

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How would you articulate a set of criteria for selecting progressive, reform minded candidates for local office?

I live in a county where the democratic party is failing.  Democrats are underrepresented in elected office relative to our registration numbers and we are failing to attract good candidates to run for local office.  I'd like to start a little political action committee to provide support to first-time, progressive democratic candidates for local office.  As I've been brainstorming how to set up such a group I've discovered that it is very difficult to articulate criteria by which such a pac could decide which candidates to support. Any ideas?

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