Sunday, June 15, 2008

Sunday night reading

The Boston Review has some mighty interesting articles, even as the Celtics failed to close against my Lakers tonight (giving the Lakers a chance to do the impossible in Boston):

1. A smart, creative mediation on two seemingly different people: Pete Seeger and Bill Buckley. My posts on Buckley, at the time of his recent passing, are here and here. Yes, I was not part of the crowd that memorialized Buckley, and will simply refain from comment on the passing of Tim Russert, who I frankly did not think much of and viewed as one of the people responsible for the degradation of the public policy discourse in this nation.

2. This thoughtful article on why the practice of medicine is exceedingly complex, yet requires snap judgments under countervailing pressures, should be required reading for all doctors--and all Americans. I have experienced doctors who are wonderful and have saved my life, who nonetheless made serious errors that should not have occurred (giving me medications for which I had allergies and in which they were previously informed). I would say this also applies to trial lawyers where the levels of complexity are often beyond one mind reviewing the ins and outs of the myriad of documents in a given case, and where equitable and legal remedies resemble labryrinths more than anything else. We should all, therefore, remember more than ever that our professionals are merely human...

3. Here is an interview with a rational person from Iran which provides some reason for hope that the Iranian people will elect better people (just as we hope to elect better folks in America).

4. And from the LA Times Book Review today, a nice review about one of the great American heroes, Eugene Victor Debs--and the perils of dissenting against a "wartime" president.

5. Finally, Stephen Holmes, in the London Review of Books, provides a respectful review of Naomi Klein's book, "The Shock Doctrine," a book rather poorly reviewed in America, even when it was praised. The reason, I believe, is the lack of a socialist aesthetic among too many reviewers, and a failure to understand that our nation's Founders were not believers in Milton Friedman-type capitalism, but were varying degrees of mercantilists.

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