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As Doctors Use More Devices, Potential for Distraction Grows – NYTimes.com

As Doctors Use More Devices, Potential for Distraction Grows – NYTimes.com.

As Doctors Use More Devices, Potential for Distraction Grows

Hospitals and doctors’ offices, hoping to curb medical error, have invested heavily to put computers, smartphones and other devices into the hands of medical staff for instant access to patient data, drug information and case studies.

But like many cures, this solution has come with an unintended side effect: doctors and nurses can be focused on the screen and not the patient, even during moments of critical care. And they are not always doing work; examples include a neurosurgeon making personal calls during an operation, a nurse checking airfares during surgery and a poll showing that half of technicians running bypass machines had admitted texting during a procedure.

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Read the full story here: The New York Times

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Some of Sarah Palin’s Ideas Cross the Political Divide – NYTimes.com

Some of Sarah Palin’s Ideas Cross the Political Divide – NYTimes.com.

Currents

Some of Sarah Palin’s Ideas Cross the Political Divide

CAMBRIDGE, MASSACHUSETTS — Let us begin by confessing that, if Sarah Palin surfaced to say something intelligent and wise and fresh about the present American condition, many of us would fail to hear it.

That is not how we’re primed to see Ms. Palin. A pugnacious Tea Partyer? Sure. A woman of the people? Yup. A Mama Grizzly? You betcha.

But something curious happened when Ms. Palin strode onto the stage last weekend at a Tea Party event in Indianola, Iowa. Along with her familiar and predictable swipes at President Barack Obama and the “far left,” she delivered a devastating indictment of the entire U.S. political establishment — left, right and center — and pointed toward a way of transcending the presently unbridgeable political divide.

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She made three interlocking points. First, that the United States is now governed by a “permanent political class,” drawn from both parties, that is increasingly cut off from the concerns of regular people. Second, that these Republicans and Democrats have allied with big business to mutual advantage to create what she called “corporate crony capitalism.” Third, that the real political divide in the United States may no longer be between friends and foes of Big Government, but between friends and foes of vast, remote, unaccountable institutions (both public and private).

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Read the full story here: The New York Times

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The moral decay of our society is as bad at the top as the bottom – Telegraph Blogs

The moral decay of our society is as bad at the top as the bottom – Telegraph Blogs.

The moral decay of our society is as bad at the top as the bottom

By Peter Oborne

Last updated: August 11th, 2011

David Cameron, Ed Miliband and the entire British political class came together yesterday to denounce the rioters. They were of course right to say that the actions of these looters, arsonists and muggers were abhorrent and criminal, and that the police should be given more support.

But there was also something very phony and hypocritical about all the shock and outrage expressed in parliament. MPs spoke about the week’s dreadful events as if they were nothing to do with them.

I cannot accept that this is the case. Indeed, I believe that the criminality in our streets cannot be dissociated from the moral disintegration in the highest ranks of modern British society. The last two decades have seen a terrifying decline in standards among the British governing elite. It has become acceptable for our politicians to lie and to cheat. An almost universal culture of selfishness and greed has grown up.

It is not just the feral youth of Tottenham who have forgotten they have duties as well as rights. […]

Read the full story here: The Daily Telegraph

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Yes, Congress Is in Session for a Few Seconds, Anyway – NYTimes.com

Yes, Congress Is in Session for a Few Seconds, Anyway – NYTimes.com.

Yes, Congress Is in Session (for a Few Seconds, Anyway)

WASHINGTON — “Thonk!”

That’s the sound of the gavel smacking down as the people’s business got underway Friday in the United States Senate. It was also the sound, 59 seconds later, of the end of the workday. Mission accomplished!

That’s all the time two senators took to approve an agreement ending a partial shutdown of the Federal Aviation Administration, which had been left in limbo as Congress left town a few days ago.

To the rest of the world, Congress appears in recess. […]

But Congress is actually in pro forma session, so at least one member of each chamber must show up every three days, gavel the session in, and, barring any bits of minor business, bang the gavel a few moments later and head back home.

According to the Constitution, neither chamber of Congress may adjourn for more than three days without permission of the other. Senator Harry Reid of Nevada, the majority leader, did not seek a resolution of adjournment this week, because he knew that the House would not go along, lest President Obama grab the opportunity for a recess appointment of any of the many nominees being blocked by Senate Republicans. […]

Read the full story here: The New York Times

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Hispanic Families, Isolated and Broke – NYTimes.com

Hispanic Families, Isolated and Broke – NYTimes.com.

Op-Ed Contributor

Isolated, Vulnerable And Broke

Princeton, N.J.

ACCORDING to a new study by the Pew Research Center, Hispanic families saw the largest decline in wealth of any racial or ethnic group in the country during the latter half of the last decade: from 2005 to 2009, their median wealth fell by an astounding 66 percent. The reason? The implosion of the housing market, where Hispanic families had invested much of their wealth.

But that’s only the latest chapter in a much longer story. Over the past two decades Hispanics have moved from the middle of the socioeconomic hierarchy, between blacks and whites, to a position below both. On virtually every indicator of socioeconomic welfare, Hispanics fell relative to blacks.

This has nothing to do with nativist tropes like work ethic or resistance to assimilation and everything to do with misguided government policy: our immigration and border-control system has created a class of people cut off from traditional legal and economic structures and thus vulnerable to the worst depredations of the market system.

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Read the full story here: The New York Times

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What it takes to run for Senate …

… is being good on the stump and being good at the chicken bake. At least that’s what you can gather from remarks by John Walsh, the chairman of the Massachusetts Democratic Party, on the possible candidacy of Ms. Elizabeth Warren for the US Senate: “I don’t know her, but I’ve seen her on TV, and if she’s as good on the stump or at the chicken bake as she is on Rachel Maddow, she will definitely have some support.

quoted from: The New York Times

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The euro bail-out is a conspiracy against democracy – Telegraph

The euro bail-out is a conspiracy against democracy – Telegraph.

The euro bail-out is a conspiracy against democracy

The bail-out of the euro represents the introduction of socialism on a continental scale – with the British government‘s cynical endorsement.

9:00PM BST 23 Jul 2011

How very appropriate that tanks should have been rolling through the streets of Brussels on the day that Europe dismantled another pillar of democracy. The military display, as it happened, was commemorating Belgium National Day, not the triumphal march toward financial union, but the coincidence was one of history’s better jokes. Europe is now galloping toward the final realisation of its great post-war dream: the abolition of independent nation states whose governments are answerable to their own people.

It is important to realise what is at stake here. When you exercise your right to vote for one party or another in national elections, you are, more often than not, doing so on the basis of its fiscal policies: that is, what it proposes to do about tax and spending. There could scarcely be a more important function of the electoral process than this. If the government is not accountable to you for what it does with your money, and how much it will take from you to do those things, then what is left of your power as a citizen? In what sense is your consent to being governed required? If responsibility for these decisions is to be removed from the elected governments of individual countries and transferred to a pan-European entity, then we are setting out on a course with the most terrifying political implications.

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Read the full story here: The Daily Telegraph

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The euro crisis will give Germany the empire it’s always dreamed of – Telegraph Blogs

The euro crisis will give Germany the empire it’s always dreamed of – Telegraph Blogs.

Peter Oborne
Peter Oborne is the Daily Telegraph‘s chief political commentator.

The euro crisis will give Germany the empire it’s always dreamed of

By Peter Oborne

Last updated: July 21st, 2011

Many of the biggest losers from the Wall Street Crash were not those greedy speculators who bought at the very top of the market. There was also a category of investor who recognised that stocks had become badly overvalued, sold their shares in the summer or autumn of 1928, then waited patiently as the market surged onwards to ever more improbable highs.

When the crash came in October 1929, they felt thoroughly vindicated, and waited for the dust to settle. The following spring, when share prices had consolidated at around a third lower than the all-time high reached the previous year, they reinvested the family savings, probably feeling a bit smug. Then, on April 17, 1930, the market embarked on a second and even more shattering period of decline, by the end of which shares were worth barely 10 per cent of their value at their peak. Those prudent investors who had seen the Wall Street Crash coming were wiped out.

There was one crucial message from yesterday’s shambolic and panicky eurozone summit: today’s predicament contains terrifying parallels with the situation that prevailed 80 years ago, although the problem lies (at this stage, at least) with the debt rather than the equity markets.

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Read the full story here: The Daily Telegraph

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Monetary union, always unworkable, has set in train a European disaster | Simon Jenkins | Comment is free | The Guardian

Monetary union, always unworkable, has set in train a European disaster | Simon Jenkins | Comment is free | The Guardian

Monetary union, always unworkable, has set in train a European disaster

The eurozone is edging closer to doomed fiscal union. But sceptics shouldn’t celebrate, as the chaos will reach Britain too

guardian.co.uk, Thursday 21 July 2011 21.00 BST

At last, a real crisis. The Franco-German salvage operation for the eurozone was inevitable for the simple reason that Armageddon never happens. Nicolas Sarkozy and Angela Merkel patched together yet another “temporary” bail-out for the Greeks, and will do so for the Portuguese and Irish if need be. German taxpayers will pay the Greeks’ bills and aid Europe‘s banks as they continue to profit from 20% interest on their sovereign loans. Power always wins, so long as it can get someone else to pay.

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A way out of our dysfunctional politics – The Washington Post

A way out of our dysfunctional politics – The Washington Post.

Fareed Zakaria
Opinion Writer

A way out of our dysfunctional politics

In the standoff over the debt crisis, it’s easy to point the finger at the Tea Party. Even conservative commentators have argued that its uncompromising ideology is at the heart of the problem. But there have often been strong ideological movements in American politics, represented by politicians such as William Jennings Bryan, Barry Goldwater and George McGovern. Yet between elections, people still found ways to compromise and govern. What has steadily changed over the past three or four decades is not so much the ideological intensity (though it has grown) but the structure of politics, making it more beholden to narrow, specialized interests — including ideological ones — rather than broader national ones.

There was no golden age in Washington when people were more high-
minded than they are today. But 40 years ago, the rules and organizing framework of politics made it easier for the two parties to work together. Since then, a series of changes has led to the narrowcasting of American politics. […]

Read the full story here: The Washington Post

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