political discourse

Because in every hospital in America, patients die because of hierarchy

The New York Times is running an article about Dr. Peter J. Pronovost of Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore, who's made a career of hospital safety. His work was highlighted in a New Yorker article about 18 months ago. But this particular article highlights the nexus between political culture, physical organization, and method.

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Thank you for not expressing yourself

Theodore Dalyrmple has written an excellent essay in The New English Review on the dynamics of online comments.

I have long been intrigued by the potential value of comments to original stories, and revolted by what passes for discourse in most public media venues. I've toyed around with comment rating and filtering systems to play with the idea that perhaps there are mechanical methods of filtering the sapphires from the gravel, but so far have only come up with a couple of "solid" ideas.

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Glenn Greenwald Nails the Democratic Party

In his post in Salon, Glenn Greenwald nails the behavior of the Democratic party.

Greenwald uses Jay Rockefeller's bait and switch on the health care public option to illustrate the "run left govern right tactics" that mainstream D's used to capture the House and Senate in '08, and then stall the progressive reform they were empowered to make after they won the elections.

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Who are you talking to? Part 1

I just stopped reading an editorial provocatively entitled, "You will lose your private health insurance." (http://bit.ly/7wlpwQ) I thought it might help clarify what precisely is being debated in the House and Senate these days on health care.

But I stopped when I hit this line, "Of course the left will accept restrictions on funding for abortion, because they want to keep moderate Democrats on board for the goal they know is really important: giving the government a dominant role in health care."

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Is there any hope for civilization without rhetorical standards for journalism?

Yesterday there was a story that was covered all over the place (Reddit, Wall Street Journal, American Spectator) that stated that Seymour Hersh implicated Dick Cheney in an assasination plot that former Pakistani Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto.

I didn't even bother to click thru the links because the source was a newspaper in Pakistan, a country well-known for producing journalists who employ J. L. Austin's idea of performative utterances to make fantasy reality.

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