Amaury Forgeot d'Arc added the comment:
Your first point is true, even if the Python zen (try "import this") states that "Errors should never pass silently."
For your second point: exceptions are a common thing in Python code. This is similar to the EAFP principle http://docs.python.org/glossary.html#term-eafp Also, this example http://docs.python.org/release/2.7.3/library/imp.html#examples shows that exceptions can be part of the normal flow control.
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